Flu Vaccination Service 2019/20: PSNC negotiates fee uplift and agrees changes to the service

Flu Vaccination Service 2019/20: PSNC negotiates fee uplift and agrees changes to the service

August 23, 2019

Announcement summary

Contractor information

PSNC has worked with NHS England and NHS Improvement to agree some changes to the community pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service for 2019/20, including negotiating an uplift to fees for the second consecutive year.

The changes include:

  • The fee for the service will increase to £8.08 per administered dose plus an additional fee of £1.50 per vaccination, making the total payment £9.58;
  • Due to the proven success of the service, contractors are no longer required to ask patients to complete a patient questionnaire after they have received a flu vaccination;
  • Notification of the patient having received a vaccination can no longer be sent to the patient’s GP practice by fax – this supports the Health and Social Care Secretary’s tech vision to ban fax machines in the NHS by April 2020; and
  • Claims for payments must now be made using the NHSBSA Manage Your Service (MYS) platform – PSNC has already encouraged contractors to register for MYS as the first step for preparing for the 2019/20 Pharmacy Quality Scheme.

The changes are contained within the service specification and the Patient Group Direction, which have been published today.

The service is due to commence on 1st September 2019, 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.

PSNC support

PSNC Briefing 031/19: Guidance on the Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service 2019/20 should be read in conjunction with the service specification and PGD and explains what  contractors need to do to offer the service. This includes how to confirm that their premises are appropriate, pharmacist training and Declaration of Competence requirements, data capture and sharing of information, vaccine storage, gaining patient consent, GP notification and claiming payments. A checklist is also included in the Briefing, which contractors can print out and work through to ensure they have everything they need in place to successfully provide the service.

The flu vaccination hub on the PSNC website has also been updated for the 2019/20 service.

Alastair Buxton, PSNC Director of NHS Services, said:

“We are pleased to confirm these changes to the pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service which build on last year’s improvements and should once again help to streamline some of the processes for pharmacy teams. The increase in payments for the service, which PSNC has negotiated for a second consecutive year, will of course also bring some very welcome extra income for contractors.

Pharmacy teams worked extremely hard last year to overcome the challenges of the phased deliveries of adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine for people aged 65 years and over. Despite this significant obstacle they still managed to deliver an impressive 1.4 million flu vaccinations, supporting the national vaccination effort and providing a convenient service to local patients. We were very pleased to see, once again, recognition of the value of the service that pharmacies provide in the service negotiations this year.

My team are now working with NHS England and NHS Improvement to finalise all the information, resources and guidance that pharmacy teams will need to offer the service, and I am confident that community pharmacies will have another excellent flu vaccination season ahead of them. We are also working to input into the national review of vaccination and immunisation, using the success of the national pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service, along with local evidence, to make the case for an expanded role for pharmacies in national vaccination programmes. We believe there is much potential for community pharmacies to help improve local uptake of more vaccinations, working collaboratively with general practice as part of Primary Care Networks.”

Gary Warner, independent community pharmacy contractor and Chair of PSNC’s Service Development Subcommittee, said:

“Many pharmacies are now well-practised at offering the NHS Flu Vaccination Service and we are pleased to have been able to negotiate a fee increase. In addition there is no longer the requirement for a patient questionnaire this year; this acceptance from the NHS that pharmacies have now proved that patients value the service they offer is welcome, and it is indicative of the new and more collaborative relationship that we are working to build with the NHS and HM Government.

Efficiencies like this will also be particularly important this year as we head into an incredibly busy autumn and winter period for pharmacies. With the launch of the new NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) and all the work associated with the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) to fit in alongside the usual winter vaccination season, this will not be an easy few months for any community pharmacy. However, if we can succeed in offering new services and flu vaccinations at our usual high standards, then we will be positioning ourselves very strongly for the future, helping the NHS to deliver its all-important Long-Term Plan. Don’t forget that the team at PSNC will also be providing a wealth of support to help you, with briefings, webinars, and checklist emails all available to help community pharmacies through the next few months.”

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