Patient suffering will get worse as the GPs plan to discontinue routine medical check to give Covid booster jabs.

  • It was announced that non-urgent work would be eliminated to make it easier for GPs to receive booster jabs.
  • The plan is most likely to affect heart, diabetic and asthma patients.
  • The NHS has already agreed to offer GPs extra cash as an incentive at £15 per jab
  • Boris Johnson stated that GPs are vital for acceleration of the booster launch.

According to reports, GPs have been asked not to perform routine checks in order to administer booster jabs.

Ministers are worried about the Omicron variant and so non-urgent work is being halted in order to make sure that every adult gets a Covid dose by February.

Patients with heart disease, diabetes or asthma are most at risk of not receiving monitoring. GP leaders say they will ‘inevitably’ have to stop doing low-priority work.

The blood pressure could be checked by family doctors without the consent of chronically ill patients.

It is designed to make sure that winter brings no more restrictions on virus activity.

GPs are to suspend some routine medical checks so they can give booster jabs, it has emerged and could be freed from checking the blood pressure of chronically ill patients (file image)

It was revealed that some routine checks by GPs have been suspended in order to administer booster jabs.

It also means that the face-to-face GP visits, which had dropped during the pandemic and have just begun to rise again, are now under threat.

The booster drive could also jeopardise efforts to tackle the enormous NHS waiting list – more than 5.8million patients are awaiting treatment.

Boris Johnson claimed Wednesday night that GPs played a vital role in the acceleration and success of the booster rollout.

Yesterday Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘I am confident the NHS will work out a way where some of the workload of GPs can be temporarily suspended or GPs can be helped in other ways so they can concentrate on vaccine delivery.’

They will likely be given more details about the work that they are freed from later in today’s session.

But Dr Gary Howsam, vice-chairman of the Royal College of GPs, admitted there was ‘a potential’ for face-to-face access to deteriorate once again.

Boris Johnson said that GPs were vital to the acceleration of the accelerated booster rollout

Boris Johnson claimed that GPs are crucial to the acceleration and success of the accelerated booster program.

In total 18million Britons have had a booster jab so far. At the current rate of 2.4million jabs per week, it would take until March to get everyone boosted after the eligibility was expanded

Up to 18million Britons are currently eligible for a booster jab. It would take up to March for everyone to be boosted at the current rate (2.4 million jabs per day) after eligibility was extended.

‘We’re simply not going to be able to do everything we’re doing at the moment,’ he added.

‘GPs are already working to full capacity. If we’re going to divert our attention to the vaccination programme again, some choices will have to be made.

‘We can’t be doing all things, all the time. Our teams have been working incredibly hard for nearly two years now and we’ve just got to focus on those areas that add maximum clinical value to our patients, which is why we’re calling for a reduction in bureaucracy.’

He claimed many NHS targets were ‘tick-box exercises’ that had no clinical value.

Many people missed the pandemic and are coming forward to see family physicians, resulting in record-breaking numbers of visits.

This means that fewer GPs are offering vaccines. In October, only 3.5million vaccines were given by GPs in England – compared with eight million in May.

The NHS has already agreed to offer GPs extra cash as an incentive, increasing the rate from £12.58 to £15 per Covid dose.

Routine inspections will stop and practices will be urged to open on weekends, with a bonus rate of £20 for any Covid jabs delivered on Sundays.

The RCGP and the British Medical Association are calling for ‘time-consuming and bureaucratic’ demands on doctors to be scrapped to allow them ‘to get jabs into arms as quickly as possible’.

Dr Farah Jameel, chairman of the BMA’s GP committee, said they would ‘need substantial support if we are to further accelerate the booster campaign’.

She added: ‘Practices physically don’t have the staff or spare capacity to manage the additional numbers of patients expected to come forward for boosters alongside all the non-Covid care and assessments their contracts have bound them to do.

‘If the Government wants more practices to get involved again with vaccinations they need to be freed from bureaucracy and lower-priority, centrally imposed targets – releasing time and staff so practice teams can get jabs into arms as quickly as possible.’

Her predecessor Dr Richard Vautrey called for the Department of Health to suspend ‘micromanagement’ to allow GPs to ‘urgently focus on the patients who need them most’.

The BMA’s demand for a reduction in contractual obligations comes after a ballot found eight in ten supported taking industrial action to reduce their ‘unsustainable’ workload.

Union members are calling for a new GP contract.