GPs face losing control of managing the flu vaccine programme following supply problems in England this winter, the UK's head of immunisation says. GPs ran out of seasonal flu jabs earlier this month, forcing ministers to use swine flu vaccine stockpiles.
There is a "pretty compelling" case for the government taking charge of ordering and supplying jabs, said Professor David Salisbury. Most vaccines, including the entire childhood immunisation programme, are ordered by the Department of Health for the whole of the UK. Flu is one of the few exceptions, with GPs in England ordering jabs direct from manufacturers and similar systems operating elsewhere in the UK.
But hasn't the government, in its infinite wisdom, just given the go-ahead for GPs to take over the responsibility for running the NHS by allocating 80% of the NHS's budget to GPs and their consortia? Yes, I'm pretty sure it has. Yet they can't even order enough flu jabs to get the country through a season that, let's face it, comes round every year. Fantastic.