The national flu service has got off to a “flying start,” with many pharmacists vaccinating patients in the scheme’s first week, local pharmaceutical committees (LPCs) have told C+D.
The six LPCs that C+D spoke to all gave local delivery of the service a rating of eight out of 10 or higher in its first six days.
Kent LPC chief executive officer Mike Keen told C+D that contractors in his area have made a “good start”, while Devon LPC chief officer Sue Taylor said there has been “a lot of activity”.
Pharmacy London chief executive Rekha Shah said the transition from a local flu service – which launched across the city earlier this month – to the national scheme has been “fairly smooth”. Pharmacists in London have already vaccinated more than 14,000 patients this season.
Although NHS England only released the final documents necessary to deliver the service on September 16, pharmacists who had acted on information published earlier in the month had been “well prepared”, Ms Shah said.
Other LPCs told C+D that “teething” problems with the service had created “barriers” to pharmacists being able to vaccinate immediately.
Nottinghamshire LPC chief executive Nick Hunter revealed that although some pharmacies in his area have vaccinated more than 50 patients in the first three days of the scheme, others are lagging behind because they did not follow PSNC’s preparation guidance.
“Some of them just haven’t planned it [and] they haven’t done their vaccination training. It’s a bit late now – there are still some courses but most of them are fully booked,” he added.
Hertfordshire LPC executive officer Helen Musson said pharmacists have started delivering the service in her area. But it is “disappointing” that her local NHS England regional team has not yet implemented an IT system for contractors to let GPs know which patients have been vaccinated, she said.
“I’m hoping they’ll have it as soon as possible because otherwise... it’s really difficult to keep track [of vaccinations],” she added.
The verdict: LPCs rate local delivery of the service out of 10
Chief executive officer, Pharmacy London
“It’s going really well. We have a national service up and running just 10 days after the vaccines arrived”
Executive officer, Hertfordshire LPC
“At least it’s here, and people are ready to go. I think they’ll all be on track by the beginning of October”
Chief executive officer, Community Pharmacy West Yorkshire
“Delivery of the service is a 10. Pharmacists are off to a flying start”
Chief officer, Nottinghamshire LPC
“There are always going to be teething troubles. It’s going well where contractors have geared themselves up for it”
Chief officer, Avon LPC
“I’d score it highly because we have a national service, and it’s now up and running. It’s started well”
Via Twitter, @DevonLPC
“Pretty good in my book. Everyone has worked really hard to make it work"
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