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GP practice ‘insulted’ by company’s £5,000 offer for Covid vaccines

by Awil Mohamoud
11 January 2021

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A London-based property firm has offered GP practices a £5,000 ‘charitable donation’ for unused doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

In an email sent to practices in Bristol and Worthing and seen by Management in Practice, The Hacking Trust said it required ‘approx. 20 vaccinations’ for its employees and would donate £5,000 for each vaccine – either as ‘a charitable donation or to the staff member directly’.

Robyn Clark, director of the Institute of General Practice Management (IGPM), a practice manager and a recipient of the email, said she was ‘disgusted’ by the request and felt it was an ‘insult to the integrity of hard-working NHS staff’.

She said the practice is working to prioritise the most vulnerable patients, adding ‘this is a vaccine that is not for sale as far as we are concerned’.

The Hacking Trust said in a statement that its actions had been ‘misinterpreted’.

The statement said: ‘The Hacking Health Trust has offered in open correspondence to some GPs charitable donations to staff or surgeries in this difficult time for any vaccines which were unused. We had heard that some vaccines were being unused due to missed appointments.

‘We would apologise that our good intentions have been misinterpreted.’

‘NHS will never accept cash for vaccines’

Responding to the issue, Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS medical director for primary care, said ‘NHS staff will never ask for, or accept, cash for vaccines, and the public will rightly take a dim view of anyone who tries to jump the queue.’

Matt Hancock, health secretary, yesterday promised that all adults in the UK will be offered the Covid vaccine by the autumn, with the Government expecting all people in the top four priority groups to receive the first dose by mid-February.

Email in full

The Hacking Trust’s email, sent to Ms Clark on Friday 8 January, said: ‘We write to you as a private medical company who is looking to vaccinate their front-line staff as soon as possible.

We require approx. 20 vaccinations and we understand you are operating a Covid-19 vaccination centre. We have been informed that many appointments are not kept and some do not attend at all. 

On this basis we would like to be informed as soon as possible of any “no shows” or cancellations on any given day which would result in unnecessary wastage of the vaccination.

We will donate to the individual the sum of £5,000 for each successful vaccine for our staff members.  This can either be paid as a charitable donation or to the staff member directly. We are able to attend within a few hours following a telephone call email response.’