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  • General practice pharmacist scheme evaluation indicates ‘improved capacity’ as the main benefit

    General practice pharmacist scheme evaluation indicates ‘improved capacity’ as the main benefit

    Tuesday, 31 July 2018 15:31
  • Asthma deaths levels increase by a quarter in a decade

    Asthma deaths levels increase by a quarter in a decade

    Thursday, 26 July 2018 15:08
  • NPA and Age UK ask for help on building polypharmacy dossier

    NPA and Age UK ask for help on building polypharmacy dossier

    Wednesday, 25 July 2018 13:46
  • Pharmacy bodies welcome Health Secretary’s pledge to invest in community pharmacy

    Pharmacy bodies welcome Health Secretary’s pledge to invest in community pharmacy

    Tuesday, 24 July 2018 12:53
  • NHS Digital seeks views on SCR with Additional Information

    NHS Digital seeks views on SCR with Additional Information

    Tuesday, 24 July 2018 12:41

Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
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flu jabs pharmaciesFebruary 3 2016

Carers, frontline health workers and people of working age were the patient groups most likely to use the pharmacy flu vaccination service last year. A study commissioned by Boots has also found that even though a proportion of the people using the service last year were eligible to have the vaccination on the NHS, they were still prepared to pay for it as a private customer.

The study was conducted by the University of Nottingham to help Boots to better understand the user profile of a pharmacy vaccination service. The study involved patients completing a questionnaire after having a flu vaccine in a pharmacy between October 2014 and March 2015. The study findings are based on 1,741 patients from a total of 55 pharmacies completing the survey.

“Patients are eligible for a free NHS flu vaccine if they are under the age of 65 and fall under one of the at risk categories,” said Boots. “Of all the forms returned, 30.8% were for patients who were eligible for an NHS vaccine and of these, 25.6% paid privately (10.8% unknown, 63.6% accessed the NHS service).” Completed eligibility details were provided for 1,683 patients.

“The primary aim of the study was to gain knowledge of who was utilising the flu vaccination services within a large community pharmacy chain, and whether vaccination services provided by community pharmacies are addressing the health inequalities agenda.

“The study shows that pharmacy flu vaccinations are highly accessed by patients from all socio-demographic areas and are particularly common with carers, frontline healthcare workers and those of working age. The study also reveals that the timing of access shows that this is likely to be due to the convenience and accessibility of pharmacies.”

Professor Claire Anderson, of the University of Nottingham’s School of Pharmacy, said the research demonstrates a valuable role that pharmacy can play as part of an integrated healthcare system. “There is a recognised need to continue to drive uptake flu vaccinations for patients in at risk and hard to reach groups, but achieving the level required is challenging and requires innovative thinking and new approaches. Pharmacy provides an accessible and convenient place to have a flu vaccination,” she said.

A national pharmacy flu vaccination scheme was introduced into the pharmacy contract in September 2015, but prior to this pharmacies had been offering flu vaccines on a patient group direction basis privately or on a locally commissioned NHS basis. With the bulk of NHS flu vaccinations still the responsibility of GPs, only 52% against a target of 75% of at rick people were vaccinated in the winter season 2014-2015.

Marc Donovan, Chief Pharmacist at Boots UK, commented: “This latest research not only demonstrates that community pharmacy flu vaccination services complement those provided by GPs but also that there is a real opportunity for pharmacists to further support vaccination services, particularly in helping to protect those patients who are in at risk groups from infections.

“By vaccinating people in the community, reducing the incidence of flu and susceptibility to secondary bacterial chest infections, we are protecting a diminishing and valuable, antibiotic resource. We already know the local pharmacy offers the convenience and flexibility that carers, frontline healthcare workers, and those of working age require to suit their busy lifestyle and we are regularly visited by patients with long term conditions who come to us for their medicines, and so are always in a great place to remind them of the benefits of flu vaccinations.”

Links:

Boots announcement

University of Nottingham announcement

Practice News

July 31 2018 General practices employing pharmacists are citing improved capacity to see patients and workload changes as the main benefits of the scheme.
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