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Lloydspharmacy suspends NHS flu service until further notice

Lloyds teams have been told to direct patients requiring an NHS flu jab to alternative providers
Lloyds teams have been told to direct patients requiring an NHS flu jab to alternative providers

Lloydspharmacy has suspended its NHS flu vaccination service in all pharmacies in England and Wales "until further notice", the multiple has confirmed to C+D.

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”. 

Do you work in a Lloydspharmacy that has suspended NHS flu jabs?

A England, Manager

What a pathetic article to write about this situation. Who is writing this stuff!

Farhat Ahmed, Locum pharmacist

Charles, I do hope your delivery of Fluad arrives tomorrow, only I had a letter telling me that mine would arrive on Thursday 20th September 2018, I called Seqirus at around 5pm via the meds info department because couldn't get through via customer services. I was told that my delivery wasn't sent out due to a glich with the logistics department computer systems. They confirmed via email after my call that my delivery will now come to me on Friday 20th September 2018. I am just a tad bit confused because in Birmingham I am almost convinced tht it has been 20th September 2018 all day today. So people out there any ideas when my delivery will arrive?

Charles Whitfield Bott, Pharmacist Director

mine arrived this morning, a week earlier than the original date, but still 2 weeks after the local GPs.

I have been told that Mylan are going to do a ad vac next year, so we will be able to vote with our feet

Charles Whitfield Bott, Pharmacist Director

There is no excuse for this kind of behaviour, we only have quad at the moment, so we are only doing u65s. The fluad arives tomorrow, so we will start over 65s on monday. There is no confusion with the paperwork, its very clear.

I suspect if the supply situation changes and the rules are changed we will be given very clear information.

I know of surgeries who have not ordered fluad, and one would hope that they will be held to the same standards

Farhat Ahmed, Locum pharmacist

Does anybody know if there are any GP surgeries out there using the wrong vaccine?

Farhat Ahmed, Locum pharmacist

Were the patients informed that they were being given a non recommended vaccine. The PGD states "before offering the second line option, however, individuals should be sign-posted to other providers to access the recommended vaccine" Did any pharmacists who misinterpreted the PGD with regards to obtainability also manage to misinterpret the above statement or did they honestly contact every flu provider in the area to check if stock was available locally before making the decision to use quad. 

Farhat Ahmed, Locum pharmacist

Technically speaking aren't we saying that a POM has been administered to a patient when it shouldn't have been? Wouldn't that be the same as handing over a box of Amoxicillin 500mg capsules to a patient without a prescription?

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

Surely thats a FTP issue so disciplinary action is in order. The multiples should be busy and subsequently the GPhC.

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

I suspect sanction will depend on the employer. Is it multiple or independent? Obviously one of them more like to lead to FTP issues and a one way trip to Canary Wharf.

Josephine Raffaitin, Community pharmacist

What rubbish. 

Peter Sainsburys, Community pharmacist

Lloyd's will never be brought to book, the GPhC don't want to indict themselves.

Farhat Ahmed, Locum pharmacist

Does anyone know what the SANCTIONS are for pharmacists that have given quad instead of fluad? I dont understand how Lloyds can claim that there was misinterpretation of the PGD. The PGD CLEARLY states "QIV should be offered as a second line option to aTIV if aTIV is UNOBTAINABLE. Fluad is not unobtainable currently, theres plenty of stock, Sequirus just cant sort out their logistics so that we can all have a timely delivery.

Claude Pereira, Locum pharmacist

From PSNC guidace on the aTIV

"The vaccine is administered under the authority of the NHS England Patient Group Direction, which sets out in section 5 the recommended vaccine choice for the two cohorts of patients. Where despite this advice, a contractor seeks reimbursement for vaccine other than the recommended vaccine choice, NHS England may make enquiries to understand how the evidence of clinical efficacy of aTIV and QIV was taken into account and how the clinical judgement to use the relevant vaccines was reached.

Where an appropriate clinical justification cannot be provided, NHS England may seek to take action against a contractor for breach of the terms of service for failing to provide the service and exercise their professional judgement consistent with standards generally accepted in the pharmaceutical profession"

Mitesh Patel, Community pharmacist

Did someone misunderstand the PGD and give Quads to over 65’s?

Interleukin -2, Community pharmacist

I bet this is more about profits for big pharma rather putting patients first this whole quad/fluad thing . Why for example can't an asthma patient 42 years get the quad vaccine on the NHS advanced service ?!

Claude Pereira, Locum pharmacist

According to the national PGD, I believe you can give the Quad Vaccine under the NHS advanced service to a 42 year old Asthmatic Patient as long as they're on a steroid inhaler

Justin Heng, Community pharmacist

Quite a pointless article when it ends with they might restart the service tomorrow.

How High?, Community pharmacist

FUBAR. GPs will be rubbing their hands together and after years of good work building the service we just might lose it at a stroke. Thanks so much NHSE.

A Hussain, Senior Management

They've had shops where they've been giving quad to over 65's as they don't have fluad.

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

With the supply issues surrounding the trivalent vaccine, it is possible that, rather than offer a partial NHS flu service, they have decided to suspend it until clarity on stock availabilty is confirmed. Since private flu services are for the under-65's, there is no such issue with quadravalent vaccine, so can be offered. Sounds like they want to avoid confusing patients. I'm not surprised this type of situation has arisen. From the outset, when NHSE announced the use of a trivalent for the over-65's that was only available from a single manufacturer, we all predicted some issues. 

max falconer, Superintendent Pharmacist

There is an issue with Pharmoutcomes as you don't seem to be able to print off the consent form until after you've done the vaccination- don't think it's supposed to work like that even if apparently a nod can be sufficient consent!

We've not received any Fluad at the pharmacy yet but I've seen the fridge at the local surgery and it's rammed with stock! Having had to pre-order, this is a big concern that we will be left with lots of stock.

Reeyah H, Community pharmacist

You can print the forms from the PSNC. 

Pharmacist Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Patient care out of the window, most likely a financial reason why they have suspended the service

Peter Sainsburys, Community pharmacist

Lol. This company doesn't do anything unless there's a financial incentive. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

Not being funny about it, Peter, but that's called "business". I can't iumagine you get too many GPs doing things for free. (Haven't we been round this one before?)

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