Retired medics have to fill in 15 forms to join vaccine drive


Retired medics have to fill in 15 forms to join vaccine drive despite Boris Johnson’s pledge to cut red tape to aid the roll-out

  • Boris Johnson promised ‘all obstacles’ to volunteering had been removed
  • The 21 pieces of evidence needed have been cut down by only six forms
  • Liam Fox MP, a doctor who wants to volunteer, said it would deter people 

Retired medics will still have to fill out 15 forms to join the mass coronavirus vaccination drive despite Boris Johnson’s pledge to cut red tape.

The Prime Minister promised MPs ‘all such obstacles and all such pointless pettifoggery has been removed’ on Wednesday.

But the 21 pieces of evidence needed before a retired medic could administer vaccinations were only cut down by six – meaning 15 training modules remain, reported the Sunday Telegraph. 

Liam Fox MP, a doctor who has been trying to volunteer, said: ‘For qualified and registered medical professionals there needs to be a recognition that too much time wasting bureaucracy will act to deter people from offering their services.’ 

The Prime Minister promised MPs ‘all such obstacles and all such pointless pettifoggery has been removed’ on Wednesday. Pictured, Boris Johnson on January 7

Key worker Russell Robson from Sunderland receives the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Life Science Centre at the International Centre for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne

Key worker Russell Robson from Sunderland receives the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Life Science Centre at the International Centre for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne

Retired GP Claire Barker said the 15 remaining hurdles were still too many if the Government wants to encourage retired doctors to come forward.

‘There is a balance to be struck between making sure that people are competent and over egging it by asking them to do things that they don’t really, really need,’ she said. 

It comes after former occupational physician Celia Palmer, from London, blasted the health service over its ‘bureaucratic’ system of approval for volunteers.  

Retired GP Claire Barker said the 15 remaining hurdles were still too many if the Government wants to encourage retired doctors to come forward. Pictured, a healthcare professional prepares a dose of Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine

Retired GP Claire Barker said the 15 remaining hurdles were still too many if the Government wants to encourage retired doctors to come forward. Pictured, a healthcare professional prepares a dose of Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine

Dr Palmer said she was contacted about returning to the frontline in April but it took 21 emails to be accepted and she still has to have additional training.

She hit out at the checks requiring medics to prove they are educated in subjects such as counter-terrorism and racial equality.

She told the Today programme: ‘I was first contacted by the GMC at the beginning of April and told that my registration had been temporarily restored and inviting me to respond to the Covid crisis, which of course I did.

‘Twenty-one emails later I have been accepted as a vaccinator but I’ve been invited to complete a survey because I have not yet been contacted with a start date or work location.

Former occupational physician Celia Palmer, from London, blasted the health service over its 'bureaucratic' system of approval for volunteers

Former occupational physician Celia Palmer, from London, blasted the health service over its ‘bureaucratic’ system of approval for volunteers

‘I also have to do some more training and I don’t yet know what that training comprises.’

Asked if she has been asked to fill in particular forms on her background, she said: ‘Nobody’s asked me to do it, I haven’t done it, I can’t see how it is relevant to a mass vaccination programme.

‘We’re going to be working presumably in groups and I can’t imagine that doctors who have experience in vaccination – as most of us I believe do – are going to need anti-radicalisation programmes.’

She said: ‘I think you need to work from first principles to say that you look at the task you’ve got to do, if it’s fairly straightforward you can identify what the risks are and for a mass task like that there needs to be a special track which allows us to do it safely but does not delay the process of getting the vaccination programme off the ground.’

She added: ‘If they’re going to vaccinate two million people a week as has been mentioned, I can’t quite see how you can expect busy GPs who have to look after patients… how are they possibly going to do that without some additional help.’  

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