The flu vaccination can be offered to GP locums at practices where they are patients, the British Medical Association (BMA) has confirmed.
A letter about the flu immunisation programme for 2013/14 that was sent earlier this year by the Department of Health and Public Health England stated that GPs, as employers, are responsible for vaccinating their own staff against flu.
However, it did not specify what GP locums should do, and the BMA’s GP Committee sought clarification.
The cost of the immunisation can be claimed back by the vaccinating GP practice through the area teams, the GP committee found.
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.”
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.