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Patient reports GP surgery diverting flu patients from local pharmacy

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The notice was passed to C+D by a concerned patient
The notice was passed to C+D by a concerned patient

A patient has contacted C+D with concerns about a notice produced by their GP practice, warning visitors not to get their flu jab at a pharmacy.

The patient – who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of being blacklisted from the practice – said they were told at Princes Park Health Centre in Eastbourne "not to use the pharmacy next door" for a flu jab, because the pharmacy "gets paid more than the doctor".

“I can see they are taking this message to the next level,” the patient told C+D last Friday (October 13).

“Variety and volume” of services at risk

A notice (pictured above) produced by the GP practice reads: “Every flu jab that anyone has done elsewhere means fewer resources that we can afford to provide for you and your family.”

“If you choose to have your injection somewhere else, such as a pharmacy or a supermarket, it could put the variety and volume of services we are able to offer at risk.”

The patient described this as a “short sighted and frankly selfish approach to our health”.

“Surely more people vaccinated means less pressure on [GPs] when people fall ill?” the patient questioned.

Pharmacies doing a “brilliant job”

The patient said that pharmacies “do a brilliant job” and GPs are “seemingly working against the pharmacy sector”, which is “really sad to see”.

“Doctors are jealous because someone is taking some money too,” the patient claimed. “How can they get away with it?”

C+D has contacted the GP practice for comment. It has also passed on details of the patient's complaint to the General Medical Council.

Have you experienced your local GP surgery directing patients away from your flu service? Let C+D know by emailing [email protected]

4 Comments
Question: 
Have you experienced GPs discouraging patients from a pharmacy flu jab?

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Conversely, a colleague informed me allegedely that during a full FLU clinic at our surgery, a pharmacist was in our surgery waiting area telling all the booked in patients to go to his chemist as he could do them quicker. It takes two to tango....

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

I bet the GP surgery is terrified. Haha.

A Hussain, Senior Management

When they do flu jabs the money goes back into the surgery.

When they run a GP dispensary the money goes back into the surgery.

When a pharmacy runs a service it gets siphoned off into the owners offshore account by all accounts.

We both do flu jabs to get much needed income as well as providing a very much needed service.  To suggest otherwise is frankly an embarrassment.  I see no rush to improve the standard of service the surgeries provide for childrens vaccines.  I bet there would be if the service was offered to pharmacies!!!

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

?.and who owns the surgery... Flu vaccines are the GPs xmas bonus, nothing more. Both are businesses making as much profit as they can for their owners, GPs are simply less used to competition.

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