The government wants GPs to be the “bedrock” of the swine flu vaccination programme, but has not yet agreed details.

HSJ revealed last week that the British Medical Association’s GP committee was negotiating to be paid about £7 per dose. The government plans to make the vaccine available to all, and each of 50 million or so people will need two doses.

Chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson said yesterday: “We expect GPs to be the bedrock of the campaign. We haven’t at this stage got the detail of it fully worked out.”

Primary care trusts have told HSJ they can’t plan in detail for vaccination programmes because the Department of Health has not said how it will be delivered, or issued an order of prioritisation.

Sir Liam said an announcement covering those topics would be made this month.

National director for NHS flu resilience Ian Dalton said: “The NHS has delivered a very effective seasonal flu campaign each year.

“People know what to do. There have been regular conversations [with the service about planning a programme].”

The BMA has said the government needs to finalise an agreement quickly so GPs can plan.

The DH yesterday announced the spread of swine flu had slowed dramatically last week. There were an estimated 30,000 new cases, 80,000 fewer than the previous week.