College Chair responds to NHSE’s 12 new ‘demonstrator sites’

College Chair, Professor Kamila Hawthorne, responds to NHS England’s launch of 12 ‘demonstrator sites’ to test new models of vaccination delivery. 

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "The recent spikes in cases of measles have brought to the fore the dangers of vaccine complacency and hesitancy - and any initiative that addresses this and extols the importance of vaccination programmes is worth exploring. 

"We'll be following the progress of NHS England's plans to launch 12 ‘demonstrator sites’ with interest and look forward to seeing a robust evaluation of them, particularly in terms of effectiveness in increasing uptake both in typically hard to reach groups and generally, as well as any impact they have on established vaccination services.

"We know that where vaccination programmes are successful, general practice has played a key role in their delivery - so, it will be important for any new programmes to work closely with local GP practices, drawing on the unique experience of GPs and their teams. We have great links in local communities, and trusted relationships with our patients, and we've seen time and time again how instrumental general practice is in the success of vaccination programmes. 

"This isn't just about delivering vaccinations and ensuring those eligible know when they need to get them, but having conversations with patients to make sure they understand the importance, effectiveness and safety of vaccinations, such as MMR, and allaying any concerns they may have. Many practices, particularly in areas with lower uptake rates do huge amounts of outreach work in this respect in order to tackle vaccine complacency and hesitancy."

Further information

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Notes to editors

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 54,000 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.