Abingdon Surgery sent the texts to patients who qualify for free seasonal vaccines, stating matter of factly that the incentivised seasonal vaccine programme ‘provides a valuable source of income’ for the practice.
However a patient group has criticised the move saying patients should be free to choose whether they take up the vaccine without being put under pressure by their GP.
Since the government allowed pharmacists to also administer the vaccines in 2015, GP surgeries have found themselves with increasing competition for the NHS payments.
In some areas the tensions have seemingly boiled over with one surgery in Doncaster reported to the CCG for threatening to withhold repeat prescriptions unless patients had the vaccine there, while another surgery in the midlands had reportedly sent a text message to patients claiming the vaccinations were ‘less safe’ if administered by a pharmacist.
Source: The Herald, 6th September 2018.