Ask PSNC: Flu FAQs

Ask PSNC: Flu FAQs

August 21, 2017

The team at PSNC has received a number of queries ahead of the NHS Flu Vaccination Service 2017/18 going live. Below are some of the questions asked in recent weeks.

Q. My pharmacy doesn’t have a consultation room; can I provide the NHS Flu Vaccination Service?
No. Having a consultation room is a prerequisite for provision of the Flu Vaccination Service. The consultation room, which will be used to undertake vaccinations, must comply with the minimum requirements set out below:

  • the consultation room must be clearly designated as an area for confidential consultations;
  • it must be distinct from the general public areas of the pharmacy premises; and
  • it must be a room where both the person receiving services and the pharmacist providing those services are able to sit down together and talk at normal speaking volumes without being overheard by any other person (including pharmacy staff), other than a person whose presence the patient requests or consents to (such as a carer or chaperone).

The consultation room must also meet the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) Standards for Registered Premises.

Q. I want to develop my own promotional materials for the NHS Flu Vaccination Service, am I allowed to do this?
Yes; however, contractors must ensure they comply with the requirements of the Terms of Service relating to promotion of services funded by the NHS and If the NHS logo is used in materials related to the service, this must comply with the guidelines for use of the NHS identity by community pharmacies.

The Flu Vaccination – promoting the service to patients page on the PSNC website provides links to resources from PSNC, Public Health England, NHS Employers and vaccine manufacturers, which contractors can use if they do not want to develop their own materials.

Q. Can any brand of flu vaccine be used for the NHS Flu Vaccination Service?
No. Public Health England’s annual flu letter contains more information about which vaccines to use and who supplies them for the NHS Flu Vaccination Service. Please note, the community pharmacy NHS Flu Vaccination Service does not include the intradermal vaccine (Intanza) or the nasal spray (Fluenz Tetra).

Q. Should staff involved in the provision of the service be offered hepatitis B vaccination?
Yes. PHE’s advice in the Green Book is that hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for healthcare workers who may have direct contact with patients’ blood, blood-stained body fluids or tissues. This includes any staff who are at risk of injury from blood contaminated sharp instruments. The Health and Safety Executive guidance on blood borne viruses provides further advice on this issue (see page 26).

At the time of writing, there is a global shortage of adult hepatitis B vaccines affecting the UK supply. If pharmacists have not already been vaccinated against hepatitis B, they are unlikely to be able to get vaccinated due to the shortage of vaccines. Pharmacists will therefore need to consider the risks before deciding if they wish to offer the service without being vaccinated.

Q.Do contractors have to arrange their own clinical waste disposal service to dispose of waste resulting from the NHS Flu Vaccination Service?
Yes. Contractors have to arrange their own clinical waste disposal service to dispose of waste resulting from the NHS Flu Vaccination Service when providing the service from the pharmacy and also when providing the service from long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities.

More FAQs on flu can be viewed at psnc.org.uk/flufaqs



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