It is possible that the government’s call for more face to face GP appointments may be dropped as family physicians become the forefront of the UK’s vast booster drive. 

Amanda Pritchard, NHS England’s chief executive, said she is looking at how GPs can ‘deliver even more jabs by cutting other burdens on them’.

Ministers have been advocating for more doctor-in-person consultations. These are still five times lower than the pre-pandemic level.

In an effort to protect against Omicron, the GPs now expect to provide booster jabs.

Doctors and community pharmacists have dished out ‘the lion’s share of the vaccinations so far’ and they will be paid £15 per jab they dish out over the next two months, Ms Pritchard said.

It will probably mean that patients may see fewer GPs face to face, as they are now running at just a fifth the level of pre-pandemic. 

Boris Johnson, who was present today to unveil the stepped-up booster drive that will protect the country against Omicron after another eight cases were discovered in England, revealed the plan.

The plans include opening up more vaccine centres, drafting the Army and recruiting thousands of volunteers for the rollout.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference this afternoon alongside the Prime Minister and Health Secretary Sajid Javid, Ms Pritchard said: 'Our hard-working GPs, community pharmacists and their primary care colleagues have delivered the lion share of the vaccinations so far. We are looking at how we can help them deliver even more jabs by cutting other burdens on them to free up clinicians’ time'

Today, Ms Pritchard, along with the Prime Minister and Health secretary Sajid Javid spoke at a Downing Street Press Conference. She said that ‘our hard-working community pharmacists, GPs, and primary care colleagues have provided the majority of vaccinations. We are looking at how we can help them deliver even more jabs by cutting other burdens on them to free up clinicians’ time’


This afternoon, Ms Pritchard, along with the Prime Minister and the Health Secretary Sajid Javid spoke out at a Downing Street conference.

‘We are looking at how we can help them deliver even more jabs by cutting other burdens on them to free up clinicians’ time.

JANUARY: Boosters to all

Boris Johnson today unveiled the UK’s mammoth new booster vaccine drive as he pledged to deliver third doses to all adults by the end of January to shield the nation against the new Omicron supermutant Covid variant, after eight more cases of the strain were found in England bringing the UK total to 22 — but overall cases, deaths and hospital admissions fell, according to official data.

The Prime Minister announced he is drafting in the Army again to help deliver the programme and will offer GPs an extra £15 for every injection as he promised to deliver another ‘great British vaccination effort’. 

A £5 bonus will be given to GPs per shot if they do them on Sundays and they will get a £30 premium for shots delivered to the most vulnerable who are unable to leave their homes. To help the mammoth drive, 10,000 additional paid vaccine volunteers are being recruited.

However, it could mean less face to face appointments with GPs for non-Covid patient. These are currently running at around a fifth of their pre-pandemic levels. 

Scientists have cautioned that the boosters will probably not give the same level of protection against  Omicron as they do against Delta because the new strain is so evolved. 

No10 however hopes the increase in immunity will offer some additional protection. 

‘And we will ensure they are properly rewarded for their efforts, particularly when they take time to visit vulnerable housebound patients who can’t travel to vaccination sites.’

GPs will get £15 for every injection they administer – up from the current £12.58 fee.

Doctors and pharmacists will also get a £5 bonus per shot if they do on Sundays, as well as a £30 premium for jabs delivered vulnerable people in their homes. 

And the Care Quality Commission, the regulator for health and social care services in England, will stop routinely inspecting general practice ‘to free up clinicians’ time’, Ms Pritchard said.

The rollout of the program will reduce the number of face-to-face appointments for GPs, who are currently running at about half the levels before the outbreak. 

NHS England data showed that 64% of October’s GP visits were face-to–face, compared with 89% before the pandemic.

Mr Javid announced a £250million package for GP surgeries last month to help doctors offer more in-person consultations.

However, doctors rejected plans that included ‘naming and Shaming’ of practices which did not provide sufficient numbers. 

Although doctors say that virtual consultations are preferred by some patients because it is more convenient, there have been reports about vulnerable individuals not being able to access the information they need. 

Coroners warn that distant appointments could have led to death. 

According to one NHS executive, getting GPs involved in the vaccine rollout is a’very big ask’. He added that it was extremely challenging to reach the January goal due to the lack of volunteers, medics and other facilities following the closure of a third the number of centres.

And a GP practice manager tweeted: ‘Cash won’t make much difference, it’s the workload & workforce that’s the problem. It’s not only the jabbers, but also the backroom engine that tracks and calls patients, organises rotas, sorts logistics, etc.

In total 18million britons have had a booster jab so far and, after yesterday's guidance change, all 53million adults over 18 will be eligible eventually. At the current rate of 2.4million jabs per week, it would take until March to get everyone boosted

18 million Britons have already had booster jabs. After yesterday’s guidance, 53 million people over the age of 18 will soon be eligible. If everyone is given a booster at the current rate (2.4 million per week), it will take them until March.

Combat medics from Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps vaccinate members of the public at a rapid vaccination centre, set up outside Bolton Town Hall in June. NHS leaders are said to demanding  them back to help with the current rush for boosters

The Queen Alexandra Royal Army Nursing Corps combat medics vaccinate the general public in a quick vaccination centre. This was set up near Bolton Town Hall last June. NHS leaders are said to demanding  them back to help with the current rush for boosters

Chair of BMA England GP committee Dr Farah Jamel stated that routine blood pressure check should not be considered urgent. These contracts are binding on us. Since months we’ve been calling for it to be lifted. She stated that they are a “burnt out workforce”.

DON’T cancel Christmas parties! Boris and Saj attempt to calm your fears about hospitality 

Boris Johnson today and Sajid javid today attempted to dispel hospitality worries after doctors suggested that it would be sensible to reduce socializing over Christmas.

He urged citizens not to cancel school Christmas parties and school nativity shows, as he said that he would ‘throw all’ at the Omicron Coronavirus booster campaign.

He said that all eligible people would receive a jab before the end of January. There were at least 400 military personnel who helped the NHS and the vaccination centers ‘popping up’ like Christmas trees.

Johnson refused to listen to a senior official in health to restrict socializing in the lead-up to Christmas. He said that he already had a set of “balanced, proportionate” measures in place to counter the threats posed by this new variant. 

Sajid Javid, UK Health Secretary, said Omicron had now reached 22 cases. However, he also noted that the number of Omicron-related deaths was likely to rise and that it is possible for the strain to spread within the UK.  

To ensure a Merry Christmas, he said that everyone should be vaccinated.

We are asking for a change in our clinical priorities. It is impossible to deliver all. The focus must be on medical need. Right now, we need to focus our efforts on the massive implementation of a booster and vaccination program. It is possible, but it seems that we have been distracted by other priorities. It is important that we are released from our contractual obligations’.

“There’s an obsession with impossible targets,” she said. All our contractual targets have been switched off since April, which correlates to practices quitting the vaccine scheme due to a lack of workers.

Announcing the new booster plans today, the Prime Minister revealed he is drafting in the Army again to get jabs in arms, as he promised to deliver another ‘great British vaccination effort’.

Additionally, the government is recruiting 10,000 more vaccine volunteers as well as ‘tens to thousands’ of volunteers for its mammoth drive. 

According to Mr Johnson, new vaccine centres would be “popping up like Christmas trees” according to the Downing Street Briefing.

Because Omicron is a more evolved strain, scientists have warned that boosters won’t provide the same protection as Delta. 

There have been 22 Omicron cases in the UK. New infections were discovered today in Haringey, Liverpool, North Norfolk, and Barnet.

No10 hopes the immunity boost will offer some additional protection against this variant. 

Sajid Javid, Health Secretary, said that the Government had set “hugely ambitious goals and we are asking for a lot from the NHS”. 

He stated, “But I don’t doubt that they’ll rise to the challenge as they’ve done during this pandemic,”

According to Mr Javid, everyone plays a role in the national mission and we must all ‘roll up and be protected whenever the opportunity arises’ for the best Christmas possible with loved ones.