Guild leader queries need for ‘finding fault’ pharmacy vax audits, and calls for NIP inclusion for the profession
A state Guild leader has taken issue with health officials seeking an audit of pharmacy vaccinations, despite there being no evidence of complaints against vaccinating pharmacists.
Writing in the most recent issue of the NSW Guild Bulletin, David Heffernan, the state Guild branch president, says “despite the outright success of pharmacist vaccination, NSW Health are seeking to perform audits across NSW.”
“As far as we are aware there have been no complaints on vaccinating pharmacists brought to the pharmacy board despite over a million vaccinations taking place in NSW pharmacies.”
The Guild had joined with the NSW PSA to put their concerns to NSW Health over its auditing tool, “which appears less about quality assurance and improvement, and more about finding fault,” he said.
Mr Heffernan emphasised that the Guild was “not opposed to quality assurance audits”, which its members were already used to through the QCPP process.
“However, we are fundamentally opposed to any audits that are both punitive in their approach and do not measure against the published vaccination standards.
“Consultation with industry bodies such as the Guild and the PSA in developing any audit tool would result in a fairer and more effective process,” he said.
Mr Heffernan also called for pharmacy “across the whole country” to be included in the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
“Pharmacist-delivered NIP vaccination in Victoria and ACT is a proven success,” he said. “By utilising the already existing wholesaler framework and the stock management skills and accessibility of community pharmacy, our industry can provide an efficient service delivery which will have financial offsets through reduced hospital admissions by delivering herd immunity.”
The popularity of vaccination in pharmacy appears to have led to a backlog, according to a Seven News report which said the federal government had told the Pharmacy Guild it is “working to update the immunisation register as quickly as possible”.
Speaking on the Seven News report, Trent Twomey, president of the Guild Queensland branch said, “every pharmacy in Australia has provided their immunisation data to Services Australia.”
“Services Australia are sitting on a backlog of data…” he added.
The report also contained further criticism of pharmacist vaccination from GPs with Dr Bruce Willett of the Royal Australia College of General Practitioners saying there was “certainly an increased trend to see vaccination being done in what’s probably a less appropriate environment, in a retail setting.”