Pharmacy flu jabs confusing, won’t increase uptake: UK GPs

vaccine vial and needle

British GPs have hit out at England’s national pharmacy flu vaccination service, which they say will confuse patients and make more work for GPs.

The UK’s Pharmaceutical Services Negotiation Committee last week announced that England’s 2015-16 pharmacy funding settlement would include a national flu vaccination service, where pharmacists will receive £9.14 for every vaccination and be reimbursed for its cost.

UK pharmacy publication Chemist+Druggist reports that the British Medical Association and the Royal College of General Practitioners have both criticised the service as being likely to undermine GPs and leave practices with vaccines that had been paid for, but could not be administered.

The service will confuse vulnerable patients, increase GP workload and won’t increase vaccine uptake among at-risk patients anyway, the GPs said.

Chair of the BMA’s GP committee Chaand Nagpaul said the service had not undergone proper planning, C+D reports – and introducing the service without “ironing out the logistics” could create tensions between GPs and pharmacists.

RCGP chair Maureen Baker said the scheme has a number of drawbacks including that GPs could be left without unused vaccines, and that vulnerable patients could be confused by the service.

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