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RPS calls on pharmacies and GPs to ‘collaborate’ on flu jabs

The RPS and RCGP have asked pharmacies and GPs to collaborate on flu jab provision.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) have urged pharmacies and GPs to be “collaborative” during the 2020/21 flu jab season.

The RPS and RCGP have urged pharmacists and GPs to “work together” during the upcoming flu vaccination season to “maximise the number of people who will receive a flu jab”.

A collaborative approach will help to achieve the government's ambition of delivering the biggest flu vaccination programme in history, the organisations said in a joint statement earlier this week (September 21).

The RPS and RCGP have “agreed a number of principles and recommendations, including collaboration; using the skill mix of healthcare professions to support vaccinations; and ensuring staff safety”, the two representative bodies said.

The full guidance, setting out seven recommendations and the reasons behind them, outlines how GPs and community pharmacies can join forces to deliver flu vaccinations.

It stresses that “a well-coordinated, collaborative approach to flu vaccination is crucial across primary care”.

“This should include mechanisms to ensure any possible competition between health care providers does not impact negatively on GP or pharmacy practice or lead to unnecessary tensions between the professions,” according to the document.

The RPS and RCGP recommendations include creating national NHS information systems to enable data sharing between community pharmacy and general practice and a focus on “person-centred care” by those administering flu jabs.

They also called on the government to “work with NHS bodies and providers to ensure adequate vaccine supply to deliver an expanded flu programme”.

RPS: Collaboration “more important than ever”

RPS president Sandra Gidley, said that, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and “winter pressures”, it is this year “ more important than ever that pharmacists and GPs work together so everyone who needs a flu vaccination can get one”.

“This needs to be supported by adequate resources, the right information systems, and ensuring staff can work safely,” she added.

Dr Jonathan Leach, RCGP joint honorary secretary, said that by “working together across primary care”, community pharmacies and GPs can “ensure that vulnerable individuals are able to access the protection which the flu vaccine affords”.

What do you make of the RPS and RCGP statement?

How High?, Community pharmacist

It's quite fun where I am.

Local GPs and their staff tell all patients that it's "dangerous" to have it at the pharmacy as we're not as well trained and don't have access to the emergency services if needed.

Then the senior partner comes to me see me and tells me to stop vaccinating (every year) as it's confusing his patients and risking some of them having it twice. Every year I politely tell him to do one.

Then every year they run out, write scripts and tell anxious patients that it's our responsibility to sort it out

I'm not unique but it's another bloody frustration especially after my GP suregeries have effectivley been closed for 6 months and now all of a sudden can get everyone and their dog in on clinic day......... 

sighs and exits stage left....

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

For once can these people tell us HOW rather than WHAT do they want from US. The only collaboration expected from US by the GPs here is, we don't do vaccinations till they have exhausted their stock and do all those vaccinations they are unable to do.

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Does this mean an end to those posters outside GP surgeries urging people to have their vaccination at the surgery rather than a pharmacy to 'save vital services'? Rhetorical question - I know the answer already

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

Years ago, the funding from flu jabs was split - the GPs were paid for administering the injection, the pharmacists were paid for the dispensing. then some bright spark gave it all (sourcing & admininstration) to the GPs, screwing over pharmacy in the process. GPs have consistently failed to hit the target for vaccination rates, otherwise why else open it up to pharmacy? Of course, now GPs see flu income as 'theirs' and don't take kindly to someone else having a slice of their cake. We have all seen reports of the 'dirty tricks' GPs will employ in order to stop patients using the pharmacy-based service. Now the RPS ask us to collaborate with them - you are having a laugh!

cardiff pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

as per Years ago--risk/loss of unused vacc was with manufacturer,Gp wrote Rx we dispensed. Plenty of vacc available from sept to jan.

Gp's then started buying own to make profit , got massive discounts..i know as i used to facilitate this and place one order for half a dozen practices to get even better prices.

Loss/risk now with GP..unused vacc costs money-- so walk in to GP  surgery, jabbed before you sat down. No priority no keep some back for old Mrs Jones who was ill when flu clinic was on.

Rx then written and given to pharamcy-but no vaccines available as we had not bought any and all vaccines made that year (quantity)were based upon GP orders, so wholesalers had none.

Same story every year since..GP's use up as quickly as possible what they bought in with no regard to who should have them.

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Pharmacy gets screwed over all the time. Are you old enough to remember what a nice little earner domiciliary oxygen was until it got outsourced to the O2 companies? When something like that happens all we ever seem to do is roll over to have our tummies tickled and say 'Please Sir, can I have another?'

Leon The Apothecary, Student

The sole reason, in my opinion, that you have a challenge to collaboration is that the funding structure encourages competition between establishments.

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

I think it goes deeper than that, most GPs see the NHS as their personal income scource, and anyone else shouldnt be allowed to have access. I suspect Mr Leach went home laughing at the thought of any real, actual, co-operation from GPs

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