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Pharmacists to receive fee uplift in flu vaccinations

Pharmacists will receive a £9.58 fee for each flu vaccination they deliver and will no longer be required to ask patients to complete a questionnaire after the service.

The fee for the service will increase by 10p to £8.08 per administered dose plus an additional fee of £1.50 per vaccination, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) announced this afternoon (23 August), our sister magazine The Pharmacist reported.

GP practices currently receive a £10.06 fee per jab, an increase of 26p, as agreed under the GP contract.

Pharmacists will not have to ask patients to complete a questionnaire after they have received a flu vaccination thanks to the ‘proven success of the service’, PSNC said.

The service is due to commence on 1 September pending amendments being made to the Secretary of State directions made by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

The negotiator said it will notify pharmacies when the amendments have been made and there is a fixed date on which they can begin to offer the service.

To support health secretary Matt Hancock’s aim to ban fax machines in the NHS by April 2020, notifications of patient receipt of a vaccination can no longer be sent to the patient’s GP practice by fax.

PSNC director of NHS services Alastair Buxton said he was pleased to confirm the changes, which will bring ‘some very welcome extra income’ to community pharmacies.

He said: ‘Pharmacy teams worked extremely hard last year to overcome the challenges of the phased deliveries of adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine for people aged 65 years and over. Despite this significant obstacle, they still managed to deliver an impressive 1.4 million flu vaccinations, supporting the national vaccination effort and providing a convenient service to local patients.’

Mr Buxton is ‘confident’ that community pharmacies will see another ‘excellent’ flu vaccination season, he said.

He added: ‘We are also working to input into the national review of vaccination and immunisation, using the success of the national pharmacy flu vaccination service, along with local evidence, to make the case for an expanded role for pharmacies in national vaccination programmes. We believe there is much potential for community pharmacies to help improve local uptake of more vaccinations, working collaboratively with general practice as part of Primary Care Networks.’

Yesterday, doctors sent a letter to the PM, warning that a no-deal Brexit could exacerbate pressures on the NHS during flu season.

NHS Digital also recently revealed that it expects only 40% of practices to have the right IT systems this Autumn to receive flu vaccination data electronically from community pharmacies.