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Scottish pharmacies to get one-off £250 fee for offering flu jabs

Community pharmacies in Scotland that participate in this year’s flu vaccination programme will receive a one-off payment of £250, the Scottish government has announced.

The “participation fee” is designed to maximise contractors’ participation in the service, according to a Scottish government circular published last week (August 21).

It will also help cover “some of the cost of infrastructure and training for effective service provision”, Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) director of operations Matt Barclay told C+D yesterday (August 25).

Contractors offering the flu service in Scotland will also get paid a flat fee of £8.27 per immunisation, according to the circular.

However, the Scottish government specified that the participation of community pharmacies in the delivery of the service will be “agreed locally by boards and community pharmacy health board committees, depending on what overall requirements are required to deliver the programme”.

PPE and vaccine supplies

Health boards and community pharmacy health board committees will also need to agree locally on the provision of the PPE necessary to deliver the service, the Scottish government said.

The order process for flu vaccines is currently “being finalised” and health boards and community pharmacy health board committees should ensure they “agree arrangements” for this, according to the circular. “In the interest of patient safety”, the former should also make arrangements with the latter to provide “timely” data on vaccinations completed in a community pharmacy setting, it said.

Commenting on the agreed payments for the participation of community pharmacy in the national flu service programme, Mr Barclay told C+D that the CPS is “comfortable with the level of remuneration and the reasoning why Scottish government suggested the figures to support the local conversations that are happening in many areas at the moment”.

“In the localities where pharmacy will be utilised it will be an ‘all hands on deck’ approach and we would hope the circular released on Friday will enable conversations to take place where the local community pharmacy networks want to play their part,” he added.

“Details concerning reimbursement of privately procured influenza vaccines used in delivering NHS service are being finalised and will be issued in the coming weeks,” the circular stated.

As C+D reported earlier this month, all community pharmacies in Scotland will be able to give flu vaccinations this year. This follows the introduction of the Coronavirus Act 2020, which grants temporary powers to healthcare professionals to give vaccines during the pandemic.

What do you make of the flu service fee for Scottish pharmacies?

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