The commissioner “has not started any discussions" on the 2017-18 pharmacy flu service, it told C+D last month (February 21).
In an email about the service sent by NHS England to Public Health England (PHE) in December 2016 – and obtained by C+D under a freedom of information request – the commissioner revealed that its “intent this year is to align everything [in the pharmacy flu service] with the timescales of the GP service specifications [and] patient group direction (PGD)”.
“We are looking towards completion by end of March,” it told PHE.
“That said, we haven’t started any negotiations yet and given all that is going on in community pharmacy at the moment that could be tricky.”
"We will need to keep you updated as things happen," it added.
NHS England was responding to a request from PHE to be given as much warning as possible before it would be expected to deliver the PGD and specifications for the 2017-18 pharmacy flu service.
Following the launch of the first national pharmacy flu service in 2015, a third of C+D readers said earlier publication of these documents was the “one change” that would have most improved their preparation for the scheme.