Pharmacy teams to get free flu jabs as NHS secures funding

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Pharmacy teams to get free flu jabs as NHS secures funding

Community pharmacy staff – including locums – will be eligible for a free NHS flu vaccination after NHS England announced it is securing additional funding to vaccinate primary care staff.

NHS England & Improvement wrote to primary care contractors yesterday informing them that all frontline staff in pharmacies, dental surgeries, ophthalmic services and other services will be eligible for free flu jabs in the 2021-22 season.

This extends to locum workers and to non-clinical staff who have face-to-face contact with patients. Contractors will also be able to claim for any staff members who have been vaccinated privately up to now via the NHSBSA’s Manage Your Service portal.

Contractors will not be able to provide the service to staff until the updated PGD and national protocol are published; this is expected in the near future. They will need to keep a manual record of the number of primary care staff they vaccinate each month.

PSNC’s NHS services director Alastair Buxton said: “This is really welcome news for pharmacy contractors and their teams, and it is right that after such a challenging time during the height of the pandemic and ahead of what is expected to be a tough winter, the NHS provides this additional support.

“For many years, we have asked NHSE&I for pharmacy team members to be eligible for vaccination under the advanced service and we will continue to push for this to happen on an ongoing basis, to recognise their hard work and dedication in providing their patients and the local population with essential healthcare services.”

RPS England board chair Thorrun Govind said it was “a victory for common sense”. 

“We are delighted the NHS in England has listened and given parity of access to flu vaccination to frontline pharmacy teams, who have played such a vital role in providing healthcare and Covid vaccinations during the pandemic.

“We’re also very pleased that locum staff are included in this move. No pharmacist or member of their team should be considered dispensable and left out of this important public health initiative.”

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