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Community pharmacy services

Pharmacists to receive 10p more for every flu vaccine

Pharmacists will receive 10p more per flu vaccination administered from 1 September 2019.

The increase in flu vaccination payments made to community pharmacists means that the reimbursement cost per will rise from £9.48 to £9.58 from 1 September 2019. 

The payment changes, set out in the service specification published on 23 August 2019, follow on from negotiations between the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) and NHS England and NHS Improvement over the community pharmacy flu vaccination service for 2019/2020.

The changes also mean pharmacists will have to notify GPs of patients having received their vaccination either by post, hand delivery, secure email or secure electronic data interchange.

Pharmacists will no longer be able to notify GPs by fax, to align with the government’s intention to ban fax machines in the NHS by April 2020.

The Pharmaceutical Journal revealed in January 2019 that pharmacists would be able to digitally transfer the notification using NHS Digital’s data sharing standards. 

However, NHS Digital later told The Pharmaceutical Journal in July 2019 that only 40% of GPs would be able to receive these transmissions, despite 10,500 pharmacies being able to send the notification this way.

Alastair Buxton, director of NHS services at the PSNC, said: “The increase in payments for the service, which the PSNC has negotiated for a second consecutive year, will of course also bring some very welcome extra income for contractors.”

In 2018/2019, pharmacists submitting data into the PharmOutcomes, Well, Healthi and Sonar systems delivered 1,270,489 flu vaccinations — an increase of 71,221 patients compared with the previous year.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206989

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