Lets “ Stand together against flu.” I quote from the Sanofi Pasteur advert .
I was horrified to read that that GPs in Shropshire and Staffordshire have objected to NHS England local contract team inviting pharmacies to contract to deliver a Pharmacy-led flu vaccination programme. The main argument by the LMC being that the GPs have already placed their order for the vaccines and that there is no evidence to suggest that a pharmacy-led service will improve vaccination uptake.
My thoughts are if delivery of pharmacy led programs were not effective then GPs would not object.
A few pharmacists who deliver a private based service currently and charge the patients at the point of delivery have told me that patients are happy to be able to just walk in at their own convenience without having to make an appointment, often on a late nights or weekend. Pharmacy led flu-vaccination services can often offer a service to patients beyond normal surgery hours and thus the GPs and Pharmacist could work collaboratively to improve access to NHS England funded services.
I tend to disagree with the view supported by the BMA that pharmacists will only be targeting the same patients that GPs capture so it is not going to target “ The hard – to –reach “ groups.
GPs and Pharmacists are working well together in some areas and local area teams should not be seen to favour a single provider. The pharmacist and GPs should work under and be measured against the same service level agreements and the objective is to improve patient uptake and have a common goal.
I hope the matter is resolved soon so the patients have their injections before the flu season.