New Advanced Pharmacy Service launched

In July this year a new Advanced Service for 2015/16 — a national flu vaccination service — was announced by the NHS and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC).

Many pharmacies in the UK already provide private flu vaccinations service, by offering this new service pharmacies are able to provide the private service as well as the service under the NHS to eligible adult patients.

This national service is the first Advance Service that includes a national Patient Group Direction. A pharmacy that wants to provide this services will have to comply with all terms of the Patient Group Directive.

There are certain criteria that need to be in place in order to be able to provide the service. For instance, a consultation room should be available and the staff needs to be trained. GP’s don’t provide the flu vaccination service full-time. Pharmacies will be able to provide this service in the evenings and the weekend. This should increase the uptake of flu vaccination.

Working people can use this pharmacy service more easily. The challenge for the pharmacist will be to provide this service in a practical way at the same time as the other services and dispensing activities.

Commenting on the publication of the documents, Alastair Buxton, Director of NHS Services at PSNC, said: “The completion of the regulatory changes means community pharmacy teams can now start offering the NHS flu vaccination service to eligible patients. I hope that pharmacy teams will really get behind this important service to show patients and the NHS just what community pharmacy is capable of.”

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