Pharmacists at the multiple – the UK's second largest – will only be able to deliver flu vaccinations under private patient group directions (PGD), according to an internal communication sent to “all dispensing colleagues” this morning (September 19).
The note from the superintendent's office – a copy of which C+D has seen – said “the business has taken the decision” to suspend the NHS service.
Pharmacies have been told to contact any patients booked to receive the vaccination today to make them aware of the suspension, and “let them know that you will contact them in due course to arrange an alternative appointment”, it said.
Any patients that require a flu vaccination under the NHS service should be directed to an “alternative provider”, the multiple added in the email.
Others might have “same issues”
Lloydspharmacy told C+D this afternoon that it had taken the “difficult decision” to suspend the service after confusion over this year's NHS flu vaccination programme.
“Following a review of PharmOutcomes, and conversations with our pharmacy teams, it appears that there has been a misinterpretation of the NHS flu PGD. In particular, what represents availability of stock,” the multiple said.
Lloydspharmacy will “pause” the service while it provides “absolute clarity to our stores”, it added.
“We believe that other providers will have the same issue and we have therefore engaged with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) so we can share our knowledge more widely,” Lloydspharmacy added.
The multiple said it “anticipates restarting the service later today or early tomorrow”.