Flu Vaccination Service 2018/19: PSNC negotiates fee uplift and improvements


Flu Vaccination Service 2018/19: PSNC negotiates fee uplift and improvements

August 20, 2018

Announcement summary

Contractor information

PSNC has worked with NHS England to agree some key improvements to the community pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service for 2018/19, including an uplift to fees.

The changes include:

  • The fee for the service will increase to £7.98 per administered dose plus an additional fee of £1.50 per vaccination, making the total payment £9.48.
  • Contractors can now administer vaccinations in patients’ homes.
  • Pharmacists need only undertake face-to-face training for the service every three years (this is an extension from the previous requirement for training every two years).
  • The requirement for contractors to register to offer the service with NHS BSA has been removed.
  • Payment claims from pharmacies can now be made electronically.

The changes are contained within the service specification and the Patient Group Direction, which have been published today. Further details of the changes are available in PSNC Briefing 041/18 – Changes to the Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service 2018/19.

The service is due to commence on 1st September 2018, subject to amendments to the Secretary of State Directions being made by the Department of Health and Social Care. PSNC will notify contractors when the amendments have been made and the date they can commence provision of the service.

Alastair Buxton, PSNC Director of NHS Services, said:

“We are delighted to confirm these changes to the pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service which will help to streamline some of the processes for pharmacies and of course bring some very welcome extra income through the increased payments.

The service continues to go from strength to strength and I am looking forward to seeing pharmacies vaccinating record numbers of patients once again this year. The service is just one way in which pharmacies are helping to support their patients and the wider NHS and we were very pleased to see the clear recognition of that value in the negotiations this year.

My team will be working with NHS England over the next few days to finalise all the information, resources and guidance that pharmacy teams will need to offer the service, and despite some potential logistical challenges with the vaccination for people aged 65 and over I am confident that community pharmacies have another excellent flu vaccination season ahead of them.”

Tricia Kennerley, a member of PSNC’s Negotiating Team and Director of International Public Affairs, Walgreens Boots Alliance, said:

“Although offering NHS flu vaccinations is by now a well-established community pharmacy service, each year an enormous amount of work goes into negotiating and finalising the details with NHS England, so it is very good news that once again pharmacies can be a part of this important campaign. At the same time, we hope that the improvements and increased payments negotiated successfully by PSNC, are a positive indication of the collaborative relationship that we are working to rebuild with the NHS and Government.

Offering vaccinations is just one way in which pharmacies can support NHS England in meeting its objectives. When our wider negotiations begin we will be looking to build on the services already commissioned and agree more ways in which we can develop the clinical role that pharmacies can play in supporting their local communities, patients and the health service.”

Further information

To summarise, the key changes to the Flu Vaccination Service for 2018/19 that have been negotiated by PSNC are:

  • Funding: The fee for vaccination has been increased to £7.98 per administered dose of vaccine plus an additional fee of £1.50 per vaccination (therefore a total payment of £9.48).
  • Training requirements: The interval at which pharmacists providing the service must undertake face-to-face training for injection technique and basic life support (including the administration of adrenaline for anaphylaxis) has been extended to every three years.
  • Sign up requirement: The requirement to register to provide the service with the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) has been removed.
  • Paperwork: In light of the General Data Protection Regulations and to facilitate the expansion of the post-payment verification process to cover the Flu Vaccination Service, the consent form and record form have been separated.
  • Eligibility criteria: Social care workers and hospice care workers have been added as eligible ‘at-risk’ groups.
  • Off-site vaccinations:
    • Contractors can now administer vaccinations in the patient’s home, where this service is requested by the patient, providing the pharmacy has an existing clinical relationship with the patient, e.g. pharmacy services have previously been provided to the patient.
    • Contractors do not need to seek permission from the local NHS England team for off-site vaccination, in patients’ homes or care homes, but they should submit a completed declaration form (contained within the service specification) to NHS England ahead of undertaking any off-site vaccination.
  • Claiming for payment: Contractors will this year have the option to submit their claims electronically via the NHS BSA webform. The NHS BSA will send a unique link to this webform to all community pharmacy premises-shared NHSmail accounts every month.

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