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Sunday, May 09, 2021

Luxury property firm 'offered £100,000 in bribes' to GPs for Covid vaccines

Luxury property firm 'offered £100,000 in bribes' to GPs for Covid vaccines

A luxury property investment company has offered GP surgeries £5,000 per coronavirus vaccine in an attempt to get its staff inoculated early.

Emails seen by show the Hacking Trust offering to pay the money ‘either as a charitable donation or to the staff member directly’.

The London based firm say they require approximately 20 vaccinations and asked if they could swoop in on any ‘no show’ appointments or cancellations.

It is understood the email was sent to a number of surgeries, including Bristol and Worthing. understands a doctor in Worthing has reported the matter to his local West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group.

Coronavirus vaccines are licensed by Public Health England and owned by the UK Government, and are not allowed to be sold privately.

In the email, with the subject line ‘Unused vaccine reward’, the company says: ‘We require approx 20 vaccinations and we understand you are operating a Covid-19 vaccination centre. We have been informed that many appointments are not kept and some do not attend at all.

‘On this basis we would like to be informed as soon as possible of any ‘no shows’ or cancellations on any given day which would result in unnecessary wastage of the vaccination.

This email was sent to Kingswood Health Centre, Bristol

‘We will donate to the individual the sum of £5,000 for each successful vaccine for our staff members. This can be paid either as a charitable donation or to the staff member directly.

‘We are able to attend within a few hours following a telephone call or email response. I look forward to hearing from you as a matter of urgency to discuss.’

On its website the firm based in Wandsworth, south-west London, calls itself a specialist in ‘purchasing residential and commercial properties’, but it introduces itself as a ‘private medical company’ in the email.

The company does have a division called the Hacking Health Trust, which focuses on commercial medical properties.

It comes as GPs across the country are working hard to vaccinate high-priority groups first before the general population.

This email, titled ‘unused vaccine reward’, was sent to a practice in Worthing

Director of the Institute of General Practice Management Robyn Clark told ‘The IGPM are appalled that this company would offer money to practices to essentially jump the queue.

‘Practices are doing their utmost to ensure vaccine is given to the priority groups as laid out by the JCVI, as these are the most vulnerable in our society.

‘These patients have been waiting for vaccine and many of them are willing to attend sites at short notice to get the chance to have it.

‘We are astounded that anyone would think offering money is appropriate in these circumstances. The NHS is free at the point of access for patients and always will be.’

The Hacking Trust told ‘The Hacking Health Trust has offered in open correspondence to some GP’s charitable donations to staff or surgeries in this difficult time for any vaccines which were unused.

‘We had heard that some vaccines were being unused due to missed appointments.

‘We would apologise that our good intentions have been misinterpreted.’


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