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GPs still unhappy with 'chaotic' pharmacy flu service

The RCGP is unsure if pharmacists are vaccinating at-risk patients or "people walking in off the street", says president Maureen Baker

EXCLUSIVE

The "chaotic" setup of the pharmacy flu service is preventing GPs from ensuring high-risk patients are being vaccinated, according to the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

GPs are still "very unhappy" with the way the service was implemented, and have no way of knowing whether pharmacists are vaccinating patients in at-risk groups or "people walking in off the street", RCGP president Maureen Baker told C+D at a King's Fund event on Tuesday (November 24).

There is a "big gap" between the number of vaccinations GPs have delivered this autumn compared with last flu season, and the pharmacy flu service only accounts for half of this shortfall, Dr Baker said.

A lack of information about which patients are being vaccinated means GPs are unsure if any at-risk groups are being ignored and "what we need to do" to address this, she added.

Isle of Wight GP Andreas Lehmann told C+D he is “generally happy” with the pharmacy flu service, but warned some GPs are “wary" of "certain services being offered through pharmacies”.

“Sometimes pharmacies take the easy option, and we still get the most complex [patients to deal with]," he added.

Earlier this month, the RCGP said pharmacy is partly to blame for the lower flu vaccine uptake this year. 

 

How has the flu service affected your relationship with GPs?

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