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Flu vaccination: NICE quality standard recommends pharmacists to notify GPs on time

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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a new quality standard that covers increasing the uptake of flu vaccination among eligible people.

The first statement from the quality standard suggests the provider to use a range of different methods, including letter, email, phone and social media, to invite people from eligible groups for flu vaccination.

The quality standard recommends non-general practice providers, such as pharmacists, to notify the relevant GP practice when vaccinating their eligible patients.

“Timely, accurate and consistent recording of vaccination status in health records improves the accuracy of uptake figures and reduces unnecessary invites to people who have already had the vaccine,” the NICE statement read.

“Agreeing notification arrangements between commissioners and non-general practice providers means that GP practices receive information when their patients are vaccinated and allows them to maintain accurate records.”

In case of a lower vaccine uptake, the quality standards advise to give information tailored to patients’ situation or clinical risk.

It further suggests health and social care staff who have direct contact with people to receive vaccination so that the risk of transmission of flu to vulnerable people will be reduced.

In October 2019, pharmacies and GP practices in Leeds participated in a first of its kind pilot by NHS Digital that enables sharing of flu vaccination details through clinical systems.

According to the latest flu vaccination data, published by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), community pharmacists across England have administrated a total of 1,490,992 flu vaccinations under the NHS Flu Vaccination Service in the last four months.

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