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Pharmacy flu vaccinations surpass 800,000...and counting

PSNC: Pharmacists have "exceeded expectations" this flu season

Community pharmacists in England have delivered 814,082 flu vaccinations since the season began, PSNC figures have revealed.

The number of vaccinations, according to data from PharmOutcomes and Sonar Informatics, has far surpassed last year’s grand total of 595,467, with almost a week left until the vaccination period ends.

Rosie Taylor, head of service development at the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), told C+D that pharmacy contractors and their teams had “exceeded expectations once again”.

“They have put tremendous effort into preparing for and providing a vital flu vaccination service for at-risk patients in their communities,” Ms Taylor said.

In the first eight weeks of the season pharmacists surpassed the total number of NHS flu vaccinations administered in community pharmacies in the previous year, Ms Taylor said.

“We have seen new approaches to provision of the service,” Ms Taylor added. She highlighted a partnered campaign between the Beacon Medical Group of GP practices and Devon local pharmaceutical committee (LPC).*

The approach saw the GPs and LPC co-design posters to ensure consistent messaging, and a reciprocal approach to referring patients to the other provider for their vaccination as necessary.

Flu by numbers

Below is the breakdown of pharamcy flu vaccinations, given using PharmOutcomes, per month. PSNC is currently unable to obtain the daily breakdown of flu statistics from Sonar Informatics.

Month Number of pharmacy flu vaccinations
September 2016 241,804
October 2016 281,387
November 2016 94,449
December 2016 23,783
January 2017 5,318
February 2017 1,230
PharmOutcomes total 647,971
Sonar Informatics total 166,111

Source: PSNC flu vaccination data 2016/17  

*Watch out for C+D's feature on Devon LPC and Beacon Medical Group next week.

How has your flu service gone?

Leon The Apothecary, Student

It goes to show how effective Pharmacy is in delivering these services. I hope this success opens the door for more of its ilk.

A Hussain, Senior Management

This is a headline on Pulse today.  It's not complimentary.  'Public health chiefs blame pharmacy flu scheme for drop in shingles jab uptake'. And a quote - Public Health England (PHE) said the introduction of the pharmacy scheme – where pharmacists can compete with GP practices to give eligible patients the seasonal flu jab on the NHS – is a key reason the uptake of shingles has fallen again in the past year.

Paul Dishman, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Pulse have stopped accepting comments from non-doctors

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

the obvious answer - let us do the  shingles service, and Pneumonia too....

A Hussain, Senior Management

From my experience, that is what patients want.

Grace Lewis, Editorial

We've also seen the Pulse story and are contacting PHE as we speak. C+D is on the case!

Grace Lewis, C+D News Editor

Z ZZzzzz, Information Technology

Providing figures for pharmacies alone is not that useful. Are there figures available yet for total flu jabs including from GP's this season compared with last season. No point in pharmacies jabbing if overall numbers drop. I'm hoping the overall figure has increased to reassure anyone from the BMA who might be ready to criticise pharmacies yet again as usual.

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