GPs and teams must be listened to for smooth running of Covid vaccination programme, says RCGP

Commenting on further reports of delays to practices receiving supply of the Covid vaccine, Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

"GPs and our teams have already vaccinated hundreds of thousands of patients in the community. The roll-out of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in community settings should allow us to vaccinate a greater number of people in a shorter space of time. GPs and our teams across the country are ready to vaccinate our patients, starting with those most vulnerable, to protect them from this terrible virus, as long as the supply is there, and where it is, feedback suggests the roll-out is going well.

“There still appear to be some issues with delivery of vaccine supply to some surgeries. We do not underestimate the scale of the challenge that NHS England are facing getting supplies to vaccine sites across the country. What’s important is that communication to practices about when they will receive a supply of vaccine is clear and reliable, with as much notice as possible – and that any last minute changes of plan are minimised. Preparing for a vaccination clinic is no easy feat, it involves meticulous planning. Having to change these plans with little notice is frustrating and demoralising for GP teams – not to mention confusing and disappointing for patients.

“A vaccination programme being delivered at this pace and scale is bound to face teething problems. It’s vital that GPs and their teams on the ground, running vaccination clinics, are communicated with clearly and listened to - and that any concerns they have about the roll-out taken seriously, so that they can be addressed.”

Further information

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RCGP Press office – 020 3188 7633/7494/7574

Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.