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Some CCGs encouraging trusts to administer flu vaccines this winter

Some CCGs are supporting secondary care in administering flu vaccinations to deal with the huge cohorts of patients eligible this season, an NHS official has said.

Speaking in a webinar on the flu programme this winter, NHSX digital primary care director Dr Masood Nazir said that he was aware of CCGs starting to co-ordinate efforts to allow trusts to administer vaccines and communicate this to practices.

The Government this month announced the biggest ever flu programme, with an aim to double the number of people vaccinated last season, including over 50s and people living with shielded patients.

But GPs have pointed out that there will be a number of logistical issues with this mainly due to lack of supplies, social distancing requirements and PPE procedures.

As a result, many GPs are looking at hiring external venues, or setting up ‘drive through’ clinics to meet the extra demand.

In the webinar, one attendee said: ‘I work in secondary care. We have been asked to immunise patients this year in addition to staff. How can we communicate with primary care in order to identify which patients have already been immunised by primary care?’

In reply, Dr Nazir – who is also a GP – said: ‘I know some CCGs are starting to co-ordinate and look at this.’

He added that NHSX has been doing work to allow secondary care access to GP systems: ‘During this crisis, we set up a project across the country where you have access to both summary care records with the digital information and the GP Connect system and I’d encourage trusts to enable it. That will show you if a patient has already been vaccinated in primary care.

‘Equally, I’d encourage your trust to make sure you are sending your communcations back to primary care electronically. If that letter comes back to primary care electronically, we can make sure we are updating our systems and code them. Ideally, I’d like a much slicker way of doing that. I have asked the team to look at that. It may not be ready for this season’s flu round but if we can get it ready, we’ll make it available.’

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