Lloydspharmacy needs to ensure it can offer a flu service that will “help protect as many people as possible this winter”, a spokesperson told C+D earlier this week (September 1).
Locum pharmacists employed by the multiple should be able to offer all pharmacy services, “including vaccinations”, the spokesperson said.
“Where a locum presents who can deliver services, versus one that can’t, we will naturally prioritise what is best to meet the needs of our patients and we make no apology for putting their needs first,” they added.
This view is shared by Well, which told C+D yesterday (September 2) that it also “prioritises bookings for locums who are able to deliver services, including the flu service, which our patients and the NHS expect us to provide”.
“As the flu service has now been commissioned for several years, more locums are providing the service as they recognise the key role for community pharmacy in protecting the local communities we serve,” a Well spokesperson said.
“Consider offering” training
Lloydspharmacy said it might “consider offering access to online courses or face-to-face training for our most regular locums, but they must have proven long-term placements with [us]”, according to the spokesperson.
“We don’t consider a salary sacrifice scheme necessary for professionals who want to invest in their own career,” they said.
It added this week (September 1) that the multiple needs to be able to cater for this increased demand for flu vaccinations, which includes “operating with pharmacists that can provide services that our customers need”.
Boots told C+D today (September 3) that its “priority is to book locums when required and match skills to local needs where possible”. The multiple has “over 5,000 colleagues trained to offer flu vaccinations this year” and is “confident in our resourcing plans to meet patient needs”, a spokesperson said.
The community pharmacy seasonal flu vaccination advanced service – for which remuneration is still being negotiated by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee – launched earlier this week (September 1).
In July, health secretary Matt Hancock told the sector that this year’s flu programme is set to be the “biggest in history”.