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BMA: Scrap flu service if uptake remains low

BMA: Wants full review into effectiveness of second year of service

The national pharmacy service should not be commissioned for a third year unless increased vaccine uptake is proven, says GP body

The pharmacy flu service should not be recommissioned for a third year if it does not produce "conclusive evidence" that it increases vaccine uptake, the British Medical Association (BMA) has said.

Many GPs were "surprised" by the announcement on Monday (May 9) that the pharmacy service had been recommissioned, the BMA told C+D on the same day.

There must be a “serious commitment” to a full review of the project this time around, it stressed.

“The BMA does have concerns that at present this particular scheme has not demonstrated a significant increase in overall uptake over the last flu season,” the doctors' union said.

It is vital that the flu vaccinations are delivered in "the most effective way", the BMA added.

Professionals must "pull together"

NHS Alliance national executive Mark Robinson said health professionals must “pull together” to improve immunisation performance, which was why NHS Alliance is happy that NHS England had recommissioned the service.

“Those commissioning the service need to construct elements of the contract that help primary care providers, GP practices, and community pharmacy to work together,” Mr Robinson said. “It should not be about providers, but about [doubling] the opportunity for people to obtain immunisation.”

East Anglia GP Matthew Piccaver told C+D that “whatever increases uptake in at risk groups is good”. She stressed the need for co-operation between pharmacists and GPs, “not divide and conquer”.

Uptake issues

Provisional figures published by Public Health England in March showed that vaccine uptake across England fell to 71% at the end of January, down from 72.5% the previous year. Rates also dropped in people younger than 65 in clinical risk groups, from 50% to 45%, and in pregnant women by 1.6%. 

Pharmacy Voice has called for more to be done to achieve flu uptake targets. Read more here.
 


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17 Comments

Do I Not Like This Dotcom, Primary care pharmacist

A counter proposal - scrap GP flu vaccinations if they (GP) fail to improve uptake!

Matthew Edwards, Community pharmacist

Been suggested in my area where we have had an NHS flu service for 4 years and have in certain clusters become the place of choice for flu vaccination.  Only issue is no one has the balls to follow through on such a proposal

Amal England, Public Relations

What pathetic non-sense. The BMA is laden with doctors from the Jurassic Period and doctors who want to become millionaires at the expense of the NHS and its holding back the NHS from saving vital money, which can be done safely by utilising pharmacy. Doctors...so intelligent, yet sinfully backward thinking. 

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

I don't know any pharmacy which is doing fewer flu jabs, year on year. This leads me to conclude that while we are increasing access, some GPs are clearly not pulling their weight and are trying to blame anyone but themselves for it

Well the BMA would say that wouldn't they - they're the docs trade union. What else did anyone expect? A ringing endorsement of pharmacy?

Sunil Kumar, Community pharmacist

Only solution is - Judicial review leaded by Charles Russell of DOH giving all funding responsibility to CCGs & costing surgeries incur for tirvial things such as letter, ETP prescribing, prescribing incentive scheme, incentive for reducing antibiotic prescribing. BMA, CCG and DOH decision are all not for Patient Better care but for GPs better care in the patients name sake. 

Sunil Kumar, Community pharmacist

Only solution is - Judicial review leaded by Charles Russell of DOH giving all funding responsibility to CCGs & costing surgeries incur for tirvial things such as letter, ETP prescribing, prescribing incentive scheme, incentive for reducing antibiotic prescribing. BMA, CCG and DOH decision are all not for Patient Better care but for GPs better care in the patients name sake. 

Antonio Lex, Primary care pharmacist

l

P M, Community pharmacist

we should be able to sell antibiotics why is it they can all over the eu but not here, we could half the waiting time at gp surgeries overnight. 

A Hussain, Senior Management

Dr Piccaver owns a pharmacy so will be among the minority of GP's who want co-operation.  Read the article on the GP site pulse.  There is no interest in what really decreased uptake.  They fail to mention that childhood vaccination rates dropped too.  If we all gave GP's £10 from each vaccination then I can assure you that they would have no problem with us doing them at all.

M Elnemy, Non healthcare professional

Of course ppl like Hussain want to provide flu vaccs as its extra revenue for his pharmacy But at a time when Gps are struggling with recruitment/funding,   the public should use their local GPs as this is an importnt source of revenue for the practice. MAYBE pharmacies could split the profit with the GPs.... or carry out the first 100 for free and giving general practice valuable  funding which tbh contractors dont need in this current climate..

Matthew Edwards, Community pharmacist

Great idea, over run your already struggling GP with more work!

Brian Austen, Senior Management

They have just been guaranteed an uplift in funding of 4-5% every year until 2020 as well as access to additional funds for transformation and sustainability. The number of GPs reduced by 2% last year at a time when the elderly particularly those over 85 need more care from the NHS including GPs so they need all the help they can get in providing services to patients. If you suddenly removed pharmacists from the scheme next year the figures will go through the floor. The organisation of the service needs to be reviewed not remove one of the service providers.

A Hussain, Senior Management

Can I Gift Aid my donation?

M Elnemy, Non healthcare professional

apologies....typo..first 200 flu jabs...

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

presumably he also includes the GP surgeries who donntmeet their targets and havent for many years

P M, Community pharmacist

cut gp funding asap.... they are a waste of space.

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