Update on vaccination and immunisation changes for 2021/22

We are writing to confirm the changes to the provision of routine vaccination and immunisation in general practice from 1 April 2021. These were first set out in February 2020‘s Update to the GP contract agreement 2020/21-2023/24 as part of a two-year transition to the new requirements

From 1 April:

•The provision of vaccination and immunisation services will become an essential service for all routine NHS-funded vaccinations with two exceptions : childhood and adult seasonal influenza, which will continue as enhanced services, andCOVID-19vaccination.

• Five core contractual standards will be introduced to underpin the delivery of immunisation services. These are described in more detail in Annex A and include:

  • a named lead for vaccination service
  • provision of sufficient convenient appointment
  • standards for call/recall programmes and opportunistic vaccination offers
  • participation in national agreed catch-up campaigns
  • standards for record keeping and reporting.

• A single item of service fee will be fully implemented for all doses delivered in vaccination programmes funded through the GMS contract, including where additional doses are required to meet clinical need and where children are vaccinated outside the routine schedule. These programmes are listed in Annex B together with definitions of the eligible patient cohorts and call/recall requirements. All vaccine and immunisation programmes will be supported with an automated data extraction and monthly payment via CQRS from May/June 2021, with the exception of HPV which will remain a manual service for 21/22.

The Childhood Immunisation Target DES will be retired on 31 March 2021 and a new vaccination and immunisation domain in the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) introduced for 2021/22. The vaccination and immunisation indicators in this domain were referenced in our letter of 21 January 2021.

Commissioners should continue to ensure that all practices take up vaccination and immunisation services on CQRS, to ensure accurate and timely payment. NHS Digital will publish a full list of the extraction criteria and eligible codes for payment purposes. All payment details will be included in the Statement of Financial Entitlements from 1 April 2021 and we will no longer issue service specifications with the exception of those for seasonal influenza. Annex B provides detail of the vaccines included in the GMS contract that attract an item of service payment and the eligibility criteria for vaccination. Please refer to The Green Book for clinical advice and vaccine detail.

Completion of the reforms outlined above will support practices to maintain their immunisation standards and reduce the administrative burden associated with vaccination and immunisation payment claims. Thank you for your continued hard work to maintain these key services during the pandemic.

Yours sincerely