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'More needs to be done' to increase flu uptake

It is "unfortunate" vaccinations did not reach target levels last winter, says Pharmacy Voice chief executive Rob Darracott

Pharmacy Voice has called for more to be done to achieve flu uptake targets, following NHS England's announcement that the service has been recommissioned for a second year. 

The lobbying group's chief executive Rob Darracott said it is "certainly unfortunate" that pharmacies and GP practices fell short of vaccination targets, but suggested a mild winter and patient concerns about the effectiveness of the vaccine "had a lot to do with it".

Mr Darracott made the comments on the same day that the British Medical Association (BMA) said the service should not be recommissioned for a third year unless an increase in uptake can be proven. 

Mr Darracott said that the recommissioning of the service was "obviously good news", and stressed that GPs and pharmacists should be “working together to achieve the uptake we all want”.

"Close and effective collaboration" 

Royal Pharmaceutical Society English Pharmacy Board chair Sandra Gidley said the announcement was “great news for patients” and an “excellent way of demonstrating pharmacists can be turned to for preventative healthcare”.

“Close and effective collaboration with our GP colleagues should help make this year even more successful in terms of delivery,” Ms Gidley said.

NPA chairman Ian Strachan stressed that the flu service “was not about competition, but certainly about choice”.

More on the service

NHS England confirmed the terms and fees of the service will remain the same as last winter. Pharmacists will receive £9.14 for every vaccination, consisting of £7.64 per dose plus £1.50 to cover training and waste disposal.

NHS England said further guidance will be given to contractors "once legislation and other documents have been updated". 

 

How will you be preparing for the flu service?

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