NHS England has agreed to increase the fee for each administered dose from its 2017-18 level of £7.64, to £7.98 for the 2018-19 flu season. Combined with the additional fee – which will remain at £1.50 – it means each pharmacy will now receive £9.48 per vaccination.
Pharmacists to vaccinate patients at home
Contractors will also be able to deliver the vaccine in patients’ homes, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said yesterday (August 20), according to the service’s updated patient group direction.
Alastair Buxton, PSNC director of NHS services, said: “We are delighted to confirm these changes to the service, which will help to streamline some of the processes for pharmacies, and of course bring some very welcome extra income through the increased payments.
“My team will be working with NHS England over the next few days to finalise all the information, resources and guidance that pharmacy teams will need to offer the service.
“Despite some potential logistical challenges with the vaccination for people aged 65 and over, I am confident that community pharmacies have another excellent flu vaccination season ahead of them.”
Other key changes to the 2018-19 flu service
Training requirements – the interval at which pharmacists providing the service must undertake face-to-face training for injection technique and basic life support (including the administration of adrenaline for anaphylaxis) has been extended from every two to every three years
Sign-up requirement – the requirement to register to provide the service with the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) has been removed
Paperwork – in light of the General Data Protection Regulation, and to facilitate the expansion of the post-payment verification process, the consent form and record form have been separated
Eligibility criteria – social care workers and hospice care workers have been added as eligible ‘at-risk’ groups
Off-site vaccinations – contractors can now administer vaccinations in patients’ homes, where this service is requested by the patient – provided the pharmacy has an existing clinical relationship with the patient (eg have previously provided services to the patient). Contractors should submit a completed declaration form (contained within the service specification) to NHS England ahead of undertaking any off-site vaccination
Claiming for payment – contractors have the option to submit their claims electronically via the NHSBSA webform.
Source: Community pharmacy seasonal influenza vaccination advanced service specification 2018, NHS England