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Use C+D's letter to educate GPs about value of flu service

C+D produced the letter in response to evidence it has received from readers

Readers can download the template to explain to local GPs why the sector has the right to offer vaccinations


C+D has drafted a template letter for pharmacists aware of local GPs discouraging patients from using England's national pharmacy flu service.

The letter explains to the GP that the sector has a role to play in vaccinating patients who may not attend an appointment at the practice, and highlights that GP organisations agree that patients should be free to decide where they receive their flu jab.

C+D created the letter in response to evidence it has received of certain GP practices deterring patients from being vaccinated in a pharmacy. These include a Doncaster practice that messaged its patients saying that getting vaccinated elsewhere “puts NHS money into private companies”. 

NHS England told C+D on Tuesday (October 13) that it will not comment on individual cases, but pledged to take “appropriate action where necessary and when information is passed onto us through official procedures”. The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has advised contractors to raise any concerns they have with the practice manager and their local pharmaceutical committee. 

Download a copy of the letter here.


Do you have evidence that a GP practice is discouraging patients from using the pharmacy flu service?


We want to hear your views, but please express them in the spirit of a constructive, professional debate. For more information about what this means, please click here to see our community principles and information


Concerned pharmacist, Community pharmacist

This situation is getting sadder and sadder. It is clear from the pharmaceutical press that there are two sides to the debate about pharmacy vs GP based flu vaccines and I think as professionals we should consider the wider picture rather than simply chasing targets. Personally I am not opposed to pharmacy-based services but I am truly concerned that a division between the professions is being widened simply because of the financial implications. Its all getting very ugly as todays C&D letters show... ' "Revealed: GPs discourage public from using pharmacy flu jabs Community pharmacist Posted on Thu, 15/10/2015 - 10:27 GPs will not win this one, the days of the public believing that a doctor is a mini God are gone! Our flu jab service is fast and efficient with no appointment needed, lets see if the GP can beat that! I am doing 10 to 15 flu jabs per day and there is nothing the local GP can do to stop that! IN YOUR FACE GP!". . This is not helpful in any way. Commercial/financial greed from both professions is reponsible for this situation. I truly wish we could take the money out and genuinely put the patient first. If there isn't an agreed collaborative approach in a locality then there is a serious risk of reduced patient care in the longer term. I do not believe the wording of the C&D letter encourages a collaborative approach in any way. The wording is confrontational and is more likely to further compromise relationships in areas where relationships may already be strained.

ALKESH DESAI, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

Has anybody thought through the ramifications of vaccinations done by pharmacies. What would happen if GP's turn around and say that, if Pharmacy has a right to vaccinate then we (the GP's) have a right to dispense medications. Instead of working with fellow professionals we are now opening a new can of worms. Why does nobody understand the underlying current the government is pushing to break the rapport between GP's and pharmacies both and in the process portraying a picture to the public that you can have your flu-jab when and where you please. This is Americanism coming over to the UK, for those not aware you can go to a pharmacy in a grocery store in the US and have your flu-jab. But, this cannot apply here as the GP practice logs every jab they give and remains on the patients notes. If the pharmacy gives the jab how will this information be communicated to the GP and will they be happy that this has been done??? One of my customers forgot that the GP had given her a flu jab and after a few weeks when she was in a famous retailer B---s she was offered the same and she took it. Later on, she realised what she had done and went to her GP who was very furious. Clearly it would be better that GP's do their stuff and let us to carry-on doing ours.

Chris ., Community pharmacist

You cannot go to a grocery store and just have one in the USA. You can however go to a supermarket that has a pharmacy and have one in the pharmacy there, you know, a bit like the grocery stores Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys are doing here...... When a jab has been done in pharmacy this is communicated to the GP.

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