Flu vaccination service included in English community pharmacy contract
A national influenza vaccination service delivered through pharmacies in England has been agreed between the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) and the NHS as part of a national funding settlement announced on 20 July 2015.
From September 2015, community pharmacists will be able to offer a flu vaccination — as part of a new advanced service under the community pharmacy contract — to any patient aged over 18 and in a defined at-risk group.
Pharmacists will be paid £9.14 for every vaccine given, which includes a payment of £1.50 to cover the costs of training and clinical waste disposal. The price of the vaccine will also be reimbursed as part of the agreement.
“The commissioning of the new service shows that our messages about the impact pharmacy can have are starting to get through, and we must make the most of every opportunity given,” says PSNC chief executive Sue Sharpe. “We have been really frustrated by the delays in confirming the service, which we know will affect pharmacy planning and deployment in 2015–2016, but despite this we believe we will be able to improve vaccination levels significantly this year.”
The flu vaccination fee will come out of national flu budgets and not out of the £2.8bn funding settlement for community pharmacy for 2015–2016.
The PSNC failed to reach agreement with NHS England on the introduction of a national minor ailments service into the 2015–2016 contract. Sharpe says it was a “last minute decision” not to commission the service and “represents a massive missed opportunity for the NHS”.
Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20069020
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