CONCERNS have been raised on how this year’s ‘biggest’ flu vaccination programme will be rolled out in Bolton.

Cllr Sue Haworth said that the Government needed to put its money where it mouth is to ensure the “vital immunisation programme is successfully delivered”.

Last week, the Government said this autumn would see the most comprehensive flu programme in UK history, with the groups eligible for the jab being expanded to include to those over-50 and Year Seven pupils on the list.

Households of those on the shielded patient list eligible are also eligible for free flu vaccinations.

Cllr Howarth, Labour spokesperson for health in Bolton, welcomed news to expand the groups eligible for the flu jab but questioned how it could be developed without extra cash ­— given the increase in work since the coronavirus outbreak and precautions in place in health settings to contain it.

Cllr Haworth said: “The funding arrangements for primary care and our local health centres has not been released at all. Rather than just make headline grabbing announcements of ‘the biggest flu campaign ever’ the government need to spell out the detail for towns like Bolton and not leave primary health care staff and GP’s waiting with uncertainly.”

She said that appointments which had been deferred at the peak of the outbreak, are already starting up again.

Cllr Howarth said: “Other work that will be undertaken in local health centres in the months ahead is seeing patients with possible cancer symptoms some of whom have been holding back from seeking appointments under lockdown.

“There are smear test appointments to get through and patients who do the bowel cancer screening tests can be seeking appointments too.

“It is clear that staff in primary care including GP’s have spent the last four months giving their all, battling this virus on the frontline. The government needs to back family doctors and their staff and ensure that they have secure funding."