Public Health England involving GPs in outbreak management

Date sent: Thursday 2 February 2017

PHE phoning practices about prescribing for outbreaks

Issue date: 2.2.17

To All BBOLMC practices

Please note below what I have just sent to local and national PHE and NHSE, together with the letter (attached) that promted it


Hello NHSE colleagues

Please see attached Richard Vautrey’s recent letter to Paul Cosford of PHE

We have failed to resolve this issue over 2½ years, and rather reached an impasse which is causing avoidable confrontation

The attached letter seems to be a request for PHE staff to stop phoning practices about preventative prescribing of Tamiflu in care homes.

However, if PHE and NHSE believe such prescribing is cost effective, then they need to design a funded system to deliver it. (possibly using providers other than overstretched GPs)

I would not support a system that just involved signing prescriptions without doing the required checks including obtaining individual informed consent (as is the current expectation of non-patient facing PHE staff)

We need a system that could apply to the management all types of outbreaks eg not only Flu but also iGAS, meningitis, Hep A, and Hep B contact tracing

One of the problems of the “PHE advises and NHSE acts” memorandum of understanding is that no one does a cost benefit analysis on implementing the advice.

I am sure you all know that GPs are in short supply and are not a free resource

Nowadays, (just to survive patient demand in the face of inadequate GMS resources) GPs have to stick solely to their contractual obligations.

NHSE’s current strategy seems to be dig their heels in and hope GPs eventually capitulate. I don’t think this is going to happen and urge a change of stance by NHSE


Dr Paul Roblin


Attached file: GPC letter to PHE re PHE - Requests to prescribe antivirals for the prophylaxis of influenza in care homes.pdf

GPC letter to PHE re PHE - Requests to prescribe antivirals for the prophylaxis of influenza in care homes.pdf

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