Flu Vaccination – communicating and working with GP practices
Published on: 23rd July 2015 | Updated on: 15th March 2022
When pharmacy teams provide the Flu Vaccination Service, notifying the patient’s GP practice is an important service requirement.
This is firstly because it is important that the patient’s GP has a full record of vaccinations their patients have received, but also because Public Health England’s (PHE) ImmForm system uses GP records to assess the total number of people who have been vaccinated against flu each year.
Community pharmacy contractors must ensure that a notification of vaccination is sent to the patient’s GP practice on the same day the vaccine is administered or on the following working day.
This can be undertaken by post, hand delivery, secure email or secure electronic data interchange (but not by fax).
Direct notifications of flu vaccinations can be communicated between some IT systems (i.e. from a pharmacy system to GP practice system). This requires the IT system suppliers to be applying relevant IT standards.
If IT systems are available to a contractor that allow the notification of a patient’s GP practice to take place electronically, these should ideally be used.
A national GP Practice Notification Form has been agreed by PSNC, NHS England and NHS Improvement, PHE and the Department of Health and Social Care and this is to be used in hard copy or electronically to notify the patient’s GP practice.
Where a patient presents with an adverse drug reaction following the initial vaccination and the pharmacist believes this is of clinical significance, such that the patient’s GP practice should be informed, this information should be shared with the GP practice as soon as possible either via the GP Practice Notification Form or if that has already been sent to the GP practice, by an alternative method of communication, such as an email sent via NHSmail.
Dealing with local issues related to the service
Sometimes issues with the service may arise between GP practices and community pharmacies; in this situation contractors may wish to seek support and advice from their LPC.
Occasionally PSNC receives reports of GP practices issuing information to their patients that unfairly or inaccurately represents the community pharmacy service. If this occurs, we advise contractors to raise the issue with the GP practice concerned. If that does not resolve the issue, contractors should raise the matter with the local NHS England & NHS Improvement team and their LPC.
There is a tendency for these examples to get circulated around community pharmacy via social media and other routes, which creates a bigger issue out of one incident than may be warranted and it also potentially inspires other practices to copy the approach. PSNC recommends that LPCs and pharmacy teams avoid sharing such matters via social media, as it will not help long term community pharmacy/GP relationships; incidents should be dealt with locally wherever possible.
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