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New sign-up process – and revised fees – for practices participating in Covid vaccination campaigns

by Rima Evans
5 June 2024

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NHS England has launched a new sign-up process for practices, PCNs and other providers that wish to participate in Covid vaccination programmes, with a new contract that runs from this September until March 2026.

The extended enhanced service contract is intended to ‘minimise the administrative burden and provide providers with more stability’ it has said.

Payments have also been slightly revised. Although the £7.54 item of service fee remains unchanged, the higher incentive payments offered last year to ‘accelerate’ vaccinations for residents in care homes has been removed (see more details below).

The arrangements for delivery of flu and Covid vaccinations for this Autumn were set out in a letter sent by Steve Russell, national director for vaccinations and screening at NHS England, to practices last week.

While precise start dates have not been finalised, he said practices and PCNs should work on the basis the Covid-19 adult flu campaigns will launch in early October.

In the meantime, organisations that wish to participate in the Autumn 2024 Covid programme campaign have a new signing-up process, so their interest can be ‘considered’ and checks carried out that they meet the minimum requirements to hold a Covid-19 vaccination contract.

The invitation to sign up is open not just to practices, PCN groups, GP federations but also community pharmacies, independent sector providers, charities and other trusts (so not just those who already deliver Covid vaccinations).

All organisations will be required to complete a ‘response document’ by 27 June on the online portal here.

‘The response document to this procurement is short, seeking essential information only to assure the commissioner the minimum requirements will be met and to collate necessary information to support the timely onboarding of approved new sites,’ Mr Russell explained in the letter.

The revised Covid-19 vaccination enhanced service spec for general practice, which now runs from 1 September to 2024 to 31 March 2026, sets out that:

  • Practices delivering Covid vaccinations must also administer seasonal flu jabs (subject to vaccine availability).
  • A £7.54 item of service fee will be paid for each Covid vaccination. This applies to care home residents too, NHS England has confirmed, despite practices being paid £10 last year if they administered the jab within a certain timeframe.
  • A payment of £2.50 per Covid vaccination will be made where ‘the seasonal influenza vaccination is not announced and authorised’. Practices will be notified of this in advance.
  • A £10 fee will be paid for vaccinating housebound patients (provided they are offered the flu vaccine too where eligible). This excludes patients in care homes.
  • Claims for payments will have to be managed via a new GP portal being piloted by NHS Business Services Authority called Manage Your Service (MYS). This allows vaccination claims to be submitted digitally rather than manually.
  • NHS England will be entitled to inspect premises used for vaccinations sites to check their suitability but organisations will be notified of this in advance.

Mr Russell said further details about ‘actual timings and scope of any vaccination requirements’ as well as on supply and training will be released later.

‘We are grateful for the ongoing support of all providers and encourage every provider that meets the minimum requirements to sign up to this important public health programme,’ he said.

His added that any queries relating to the Covid vaccination sign-up process, should be sent to [email protected].

Meanwhile, the enhanced service spec for GPs covering the 2024/25 seasonal flu programme has also been published here.