Chemist + Druggist is part of Informa PLC


This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC’s registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. Please do not redistribute without permission.

Printed By

UsernamePublicRestriction

BMA rep: GPs sceptical of flu service until jab rates rise

Surgeries remain concerned pharmacists are "fishing in the same pool" of flu patients, says the BMA's Dr Richard Vautrey

EXCLUSIVE

GPs will remain sceptical about the pharmacy flu service until it is shown to increase vaccine uptake, a senior doctor has said.

The first national pharmacy flu service finished on Tuesday (March 1), with the latest figures showing vaccination rates for at-risk patients have dropped in comparison to last year.

Data from Public Health England (PHE) revealed that the proportion of over-65s vaccinated by the end of January fell from 72.5% last flu season to 71% in 2015-16.

The vaccination rate also dropped from 50% to 45% among under-65s in clinical risk groups, while coverage for pregnant women fell by 1.6%.

GPs want a "demonstrable increase"

Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the British Medical Association's (BMA) GP committee, told C+D that doctors will remain worried about the pharmacy flu service until they see a "demonstrable increase in overall uptake".

"Until we see that, practices will be concerned that all that's happening is [GPs and pharmacists are] fishing in the same pond," he said. 

Pharmacists needed to focus on vaccinating patients that will not visit a local GP practice, Dr Vautrey stressed.

"There's large numbers of patients who don't get immunised at all. It's those people [pharmacists] should really be trying to reach, rather than focussing on patients who would be vaccinated anyway," he said.

Dr Vautrey said "mixed messages" about where patients should have received their vaccination may have influenced rates "to some extent". But the "bigger issue" is that patients perceived the vaccine to be ineffective last year, he said.

Pharmacy service an "excuse" for patients not to get vaccinated

Dr Bill Beeby, deputy chair of the BMA's clinical and prescribing subcommittee, told C+D that patients had used the pharmacy service as an "excuse" not to get vaccinated at a GP practice.

"They say, 'I'm going to have it done at my pharmacy', and they just slip through our fingers," he said.

"They don't go to the pharmacy. The pharmacy doesn't have the responsibility to chase them up – we're chasing them up," he said.

Dr Beeby stressed he has no issue with pharmacists vaccinating patients, but labelled this year's service "uncoordinated", with pharmacies vaccinating patients "almost at random".

"It means the coordination we've had by doing it through practices has been destroyed," he told C+D.

The pharmacy flu service was plagued by local GP opposition last year, and Dr Beeby said GPs found it hard to build relationships with large multiples.

"Independent pharmacies have an interest in the local community, but all too often we're [dealing with] large chains. The local managers are sometimes transient, so it's always going to be difficult to build working relationships with them," he added.

 

More news on flu...

Revealed: GPs discourage public from using pharmacy flu jabs

GP leaders: Pharmacy flu jabs will fail to boost uptake

2015-16 funding settlement: National flu service announced

 

Do you think the first national pharmacy flu service was a success?

We want to hear your views, but please express them in the spirit of a constructive, professional debate. For more information about what this means, please click here to see our community principles and information

 

Topics



Pharmacy Dispenser/ Technician
Bethnal Green North, London
Salary: Up to £30,000

Apply Now
UsernamePublicRestriction

Register

CD008010

Ask The Analyst

Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
Ask The Analyst

Thank you for submitting your question. We will respond to you within 2 business days. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts

Cancel