GP locums in England can be vaccinated against flu at surgeries where they are patients, it has been confirmed.
The cost of this immunisation can then be claimed back by the vaccinating GP practice via area teams, according to clarification received by the BMA GPs committee.
The GPC contacted the chief medical officer for England Professor Dame Sally Davies requesting clarification about the arrangements for flu vaccinations for GP locums.
It follows a letter about the flu immunisation programme for 2013/14 that was sent earlier this year by the Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS England to GPs, commissioners and others.
This letter highlighted how, as employers, GPs are responsible for vaccinating their own staff against flu but did not stipulate what GP locums should do.
Following discussion between NHS England and the GPC, it has been agreed that locum GPs will attend the practices where they are patients for the jab.
The cost of this will be claimed back via the calculating quality reporting service — the system that calculates payments to GP practices in England.
GPC sessional GPs committee chair Vicky Weeks said: ‘We welcome the clarity we have received on flu vaccinations for locum GPs.
'These doctors should not miss out on the opportunity to be immunised because they are not based at a particular practice. All doctors, of course, have autonomy over their own health but we would encourage those with direct patient contact to get vaccinated.’
BMA Welsh GPs committee chair Charlotte Jones said: 'We are disappointed that to date the Welsh government has not followed suit and we will continue to make representations as to the importance of vaccinating sessional GPs.'
In Scotland, locum GPs can receive the vaccine at the practice where they work, Scottish chief medical officer Sir Harry Burns has told the GPC.
However, practices will not be paid separately for this, unless a locum is in an at-risk group due to their personal health. Vaccinations for GP practice staff, including locums, comes through 'stock orders' for eligible patients, the cost of which is borne by health boards.
See page 54 of the document to find out which code to use to claim the payment