Responding to news that deliveries of flu jabs from the country’s biggest supplier to practices in England will be delayed by around 2 weeks, Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee chair, said:
“This issue is likely to affect a significant proportion of practices, and have a serious impact on both practice workloads and most importantly, patients.
“Many practices will have spent the last few days and weeks meticulously planning for their flu vaccination programme, inviting and booking patients in for their jabs, only now to have to contact them all again to cancel or reschedule appointments.
“This causes a huge increase in staff’s already unsustainable workloads, and inconvenience and unneeded anxiety for patients who will be keen to be protected ahead of winter. This is on top of the chaos already being caused by the shortage of blood test bottles, which is leaving hardworking doctors and practice teams bearing the brunt of understandable frustrations from patients when the problem is well outside of their control.
“That this appears to be stemming from similar issues around freight capacity and transportation is incredibly concerning, and we must ask the Government exactly what it is doing to urgently address this. It is not acceptable for government to be leaving these issues to clinicians and NHS management when clinicians and NHS management have no levers to resolve them.
“Ministers must act.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.