You will all have been aware that this national programme would be put in place this flu season, despite the predictably disastrous consequences of various local pilot schemes last year, including of course across Birmingham and the Black Country. As has previously been advised, there was no consultation with the profession about this, either by the government or by NHS England. It will also not have escaped attention that pharmacies are being funded for vaccinations at a higher rate than general practice, despite the fact that this scheme will, inevitably, include additional work and administration for GP practices as well as interfering with their own long-established practice vaccination campaigns, as was the experience of local practices last winter. Whilst I believe GPC is having national discussions over these various concerns I’m not optimistic that anything will change.
No doubt practices will wish to be as proactive as they can be and make as rapid a start to their own flu vaccination campaigns from September in order to mitigate the damage from this initiative. Please do bring any problems that the pharmacy vaccination scheme causes to the LMC’s attention in order that we can both bring them to the attention of NHS England locally as well as pass them on to GPC for national action.
You may be aware that NHS England are commissioning administration of seasonal flu vaccination to eligible patients aged 18 years and older from community pharmacy as a new advanced service as part of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework this winter.
An important element of this service is communication that the patient has received the vaccination to the patient’s GP and subsequent coding of this in the patient’s clinical record. This is important for clinical reasons and to ensure that surveillance data remains accurate.
Locally, NHS England West Midlands may utilise an electronic solution (PharmOutcomes) in-conjunction with secure nhs.net addresses to support increased timeliness of communications to GP Practices about patients vaccinated by Pharmacists. Details of how to ensure your GP practice is able to receive automated notifications is attached.
Further information is available on the NHS Employers website community-pharmacy-contractual-framework-changes
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