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Pharmacists could be paid more for flu jabs than GP practices, GPC warns  

The new national pharmacy flu immunisation scheme could see pharmacists paid more than GPs to administer the vaccinations, leading to the GPC calling for a review of payments.

The pharmacy scheme – announced earlier this week – will allow any pharmacist in England to offer flu jabs to adults in clinical risk groups under the national immunisation programme.

Pharmacists will be paid the same as GPs per vaccine dose they administer – £7.64 – but will also get £1.50 each time to cover other costs involved in providing the service, including training, revalidation and disposal of clinical waste.

GPs are paid a dispensing fee of around £2 per prescription on top of the £7.64 fee, but the GPC said this could still leave GPs out of pocket compared with pharmacists, as they have to carry out more administrative work – including calling and recalling patients and maintaining records for the national programme.

GP leaders previously warned against expanding pharmacy flu vaccination schemes, as they make it harder for GPs to get paid for the service by ‘creaming off’ the healthier patients, leaving GPs to chase hard-to-reach groups.

The GPC said it would now analyse the schemes and press for payments for GPs to be brought into line with those for pharmacy, if there were inequities in the overall workload, responsibility and remuneration.

Dr Andrew Green, chair of the GPC’s clinical and prescribing subcommittee, told Pulse: ‘The funding streams for influenza vaccine are complex and different for pharmacists and GPs.

‘We will be carrying out an audit of these in order to ensure that the funding provided to our different professions truly represents the overall workload involved and the responsibility carried.’

Readers' comments (16)

  • My God. When will these professions start to work
    TOGETHER for the benefit of patients? What does a couple of quid matter? Let's "get real" folks.

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  • Anonymous | Pharmacist | 22 July 2015 10:24pm


    it is not unnatural to feel upset if someone else does the same job for more money.

    Getting "real" and "working TOGETHER" also involves not referring to the GP for every little problem.

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  • £2 is quite a lot when multiplied up by many patients. And let's be honest - the "easy" patients subside those where we have to undertake home visits etc to deliver these.

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  • £2 =25%

    Not a small factor!

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  • If you saw the admin pharmacists had to do then you'd realise that your £2 fee is a much better deal.

    We have to fill a paper form in, transpose these forms onto a system called pharmoutcomes, fax the form to the GP and then conduct a patient questionnaire which then has to be put onto pharmoutcomes.

    We are not routinely allowed to collect sharps so need a separate contract for this, so I'm not sure how getting 50p less per injection is such a good deal for us.

    Let's not forget that it is the pharmacist who has to administer the vaccine, so if you're paying someone £20 an hour to administer vaccines rather than £10 then it's not an easy win for us.

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  • Ha ha ha, and once again medical "professionals" are bitching at each other instead of uniting against the Government.
    You are such an easy target, GPs deserve the mess they are in, they fight each other and other doctors and other HCPs, but will they all stand together to fight the Govt? Not a snowball's chance in hell of that..

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  • "We have to fill a paper form in, transpose these forms onto a system called pharmoutcomes, fax the form to the GP"

    What do you think happens after you fax the form?

    Yes, we have to find the patient record, log it into the computer after transcribing what might be a new batch number and expiry date, update the patient's recall status etc. so even when you undertake the jabs, we have to undertake further work.

    @PM yes we should unite against HMG, but that's a different issue.

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  • Vinci Ho

    The interesting and logical question is:
    If an 'at risk ' ,particularly chronic disease , patient declined to have a flu vaccine from own GP, is this new scheme where pharmacists are involved , will substantially change that outcome.
    It is not purely an argument about who gets the reward for vaccinating. Has anyone asked about the opinions of patients??

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  • You are such an easy target, GPs deserve the mess they are in,
    err no they don't practice manager.
    if people want to do the work of a GP then please can they do the training to become a GP rather than picking and choosing the bits they want to do. Having a physician assistant or pharmacist say 'go and see your GP' or 'discussed with GP' does not help us.

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  • Can we reduce £2 from the dispensing fee for pharmacists? What does a couple of quid matter?

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