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Hancock accused of failing to credit nurses in vaccine rollout

Contribution of general practice nurses, rather than GPs, ‘should be made explicit’
Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock

Contribution of general practice nurses, rather than GPs, should be made explicit, nurse leader says

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock has been accused of failing to give due credit to nurses role in the vaccination programme during a radio interview.

Mr Hancock pointed to the contribution of GPs rather than nurses to the rollout during the interview on BBC Radio 4s Today programme on 22 June, when explaining the need to offer COVID-19 booster jabs alongside annual flu immunisations.

Hard work of the nursing and care workforce

He said: Weve got to organise it in such a way that our GPs, who have done a lot of the vaccinations, can get back to being GPs

Contribution of general practice nurses, rather than GPs, should be made explicit, nurse leader says

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock
Matt Hancock Picture: Alamy

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock has been accused of failing to give due credit to nurses’ role in the vaccination programme during a radio interview.

Mr Hancock pointed to the contribution of GPs rather than nurses to the rollout during the interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on 22 June, when explaining the need to offer COVID-19 booster jabs alongside annual flu immunisations.

Hard work of the nursing and care workforce

He said: ‘We’ve got to organise it in such a way that our GPs, who have done a lot of the vaccinations, can get back to being GPs and doing their core business, which will mean bringing other people in, like pharmacists, to deliver the bulk of the vaccination programme over the autumn.’

Queen’s Nursing Institute chief executive Crystal Oldman said later the health secretary ‘needs to be explicit that vaccinations in the community are delivered by general practice nurses, not by GPs’.

‘The COVID vaccination programme, the seasonal flu vaccination programme, as well as every other type of immunisation are largely or entirely delivered and managed by the nursing workforce,’ she said.

London South Bank University professor and chair of healthcare and workforce modelling Alison Leary said she was disappointed that the work of nurses and nursing support workers was not being recognised by the secretary of state. ‘All members of the nursing and care workforce have worked hard to deliver not only in the vaccine programme but also in the response to COVID,’ she said.

In August 2020, Mr Hancock drew nurses’ ire when he said the law had been changed to allow them to administer vaccines – something they have done for decades.

Mr Hancock was contacted for comment.


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