Mword Issue 74 – Dr Michelle Drage’s latest update for GPs and practice teams

  • Mword
Mword Heading - Issue 73
26 November 2020

Dear Colleague

Today practices and their respective PCNs have been informed which designated sites have been approved to deliver the Covid-19 vaccination programme. Whilst matters are moving on a-pace and are subject to rapid change, fewer than half of our practices recently told us that they intend to sign up to the ”DES now ES”, and over half of you want more information and support to help make that decision.

So here is what (we think) we know so far:

  • The NHS Enhanced Service contract documentation is expected this week and you will have 7 days to consider/ sign up.
  • There are three possible Covid-19 vaccines currently seeking approval for use.
  • The Pfizer BioNTech and Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines are expected to be licensed by the MHRA in the near future, but these vaccines will not become widely available until 2021.
  • The NHS has been asked to be ready to start vaccinating as soon as the vaccines are licensed and become available.
  • We should be given 10 days’ notice of any actual start date.
  • Plans to deliver the vaccine programme will be determined by the characteristics of the vaccine and its mobility.
  • For example, the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine has limited mobility which is unlikely to lend itself to roving or local vaccination sites. This may initially be used to vaccinate acute trust staff and health and social care staff on-site at approved Trust or Mass Vaccination Sites.
  • Primary care and roving delivery models are expected to be mobilised when a more mobile vaccine (such as the Oxford AstraZeneca one) comes online. This is then likely to allow the vaccination of care home residents and staff, people aged 80 and over, and the housebound.
  • The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored in vaccine fridges for up to 6 months, is mobile and comes in packs of 80-100 doses.
  • We are awaiting/ expecting the following documents:
    • The consent
    • Pre and post vaccination information
    • PGDs for each vaccine
    • Draft temporary staff contracts
    • MOUs for sharing staff
    • Details of the local workforce contacts

We will keep you informed of developments but as I am sure you are aware this is a fast moving and ever changing topic.

To support you, our clever teams have created a new interactive Covid-19 Vaccination Guide and dedicated website: (HINT in reality you only need to type in – like how you would use the BBC’s website). As new information is made available we will update our guidance, and we will continue to escalate queries from practices at a local and national level. Please get in touch if there are issues you would like us to raise which are not already covered.

Our Londonwide LMCs Living Guide also continues to provide valuable information to help you navigate regulatory changes and guidance around a wide range of topics including contractual requirements, workload prioritisation, and practice finances during the current pandemic. I encourage you to continue to use it. The latest updates include further detail on long term conditions and care homes.

As ever I welcome your feedback at, and as always, know that my team of experts and leaders here at Londonwide LMCs are by your side.

Keep well. Stay safe.

With best wishes

Dr Michelle Drage MBBS FRCGP
CEO, Londonwide LMCs


Last updated : 01 Dec 2020