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Travel immunisations/vaccines

UPDATED OCTOBER 2019

Travel vaccines are part of additional services of the new GMS contract.

When the new contract was introduced in 2004 a number of the individual items were automatically transferred into the global sum:

Private income for some travel vaccines

The situation with regard to travel vaccines and what can and cannot be charged for has not altered from the old to the new GMS contract. Under the Red Book a limited number of travel vaccines were provided on the NHS. This was for public health reasons. The public health agenda has not altered with the new contract and therefore those travel vaccines that were provided by practices on the NHS before the 31st March shall continue to be provided by them from 1st April. The only exception shall be for those practices that opt-out of the additional vaccinations and immunisations service and they will have their global sum abated by 2%. Practices opting out of the additional service will not be able to charge their registered patients for travel vaccines which are available on the NHS.

If, therefore, you opt out of providing this service 2% will be deducted from your global sum.

Travel immunisations that must be given as part of NHS provision though GMS Additional Services

The following immunisations for travel are part of Additional Services under GMS (see note 4) and PMS and no fee may be charged by the contractor to a patient registered for NHS services with that contractor:

  • Cholera
  • Hepatitis A
  • Paratyphoid
  • Poliomyelitis
  • Smallpox
  • Typhoid

This guidance note has been produced by the General Practitioners Committee (GPC) to help GPs and Local Medical Committees (LMCs) understand the regulations in relation to travel immunisations as they currently stand. Clinical information on travel is contained in the ‘Green Book’ and on the NaTHNaC website (references available at the end of this document).

The regulations regarding the NHS provision of immunisations for travel can be traced back to the original ‘Red Book’ regulations of the 1960’s. They were written to cover the immunisations available at that time and consequently do not reflect today’s clinical practice, and have never been fully updated. In 2004 the new GMS contract 1took those regulations and carried them into the new contract as an additional service. Consequently everything in the Red Book was transferred unchanged and included in the global sum of payments rather than the previous item of service system.

The change in availability of immunisations and the nature of foreign travel has made these old regulations ever more difficult to interpret, with understandable confusion over how they apply to current practice. This document reflects the present situation and is intended to help practices by clarifying the existing regulations as they currently stand. That they are so out of date is clearly a matter of concern, but is beyond the scope of this advice and is something that we are trying to resolve with our negotiating partners.

To read the full guidance, click here.

Updated on Monday, 7 October 2019, 912 views

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