Joint LPC/LMC campaign to increase flu vaccination uptake in Wessex

Joint LPC/LMC campaign to increase flu vaccination uptake in Wessex

November 26, 2018

Local Medical Committees (LMCs) and Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs) in Wessex are working collaboratively to encourage patients to get a flu vaccination either at their GP practice or local pharmacy and are currently running a ‘Flu Free Wessex’ campaign.

Following analysis of previous years’ flu vaccination uptake figures in Wessex, the LMCs and LPCs recognised that more needed to be done to encourage patients to have a flu vaccination and that there was potential for both GP practices and pharmacies to increase the number of flu vaccinations provided.

Before the flu season started, a joint letter was issued by the LMCs and LPCs to all GP practices and pharmacies highlighting the joint work and the benefits of the collaborative campaign for patients as well as for GP practices and pharmacies.

The ‘Flu Free Wessex’ campaign is being run on social media; a Facebook page along with Twitter and Instagram accounts have been created, as well as use of local media to get flu messages out to patients and the public.

In September 2018, the campaign provided general messages to encourage eligible patients to have a free NHS flu vaccination. In October 2018, the campaign focussed on encouraging patients with long-term conditions who are eligible for a flu jab to get vaccinated and in November 2018 it will focus on encouraging uptake of a flu vaccination in those aged 65 and over.

Commenting on the initiative, Deborah Crockford, Chief Officer at Community Pharmacy South Central said:

“Working with our LMC on the promotion of flu vaccinations this year has been a very positive and constructive experience which we intend to continue into other projects. This season, we are all focused on ensuring the maximum availability and uptake of flu vaccinations within our communities, emphasising that the important point is to actually get vaccinated, rather than worry about where you go to get that vaccination.”

Dr Andrew Purbrick, Medical Director at Wessex LMCs said:

“Wessex LMCs believe that it is vitally important that we work collaboratively with our pharmacy colleagues to meet the significant challenges currently facing primary care.

There have been concerns in the past that general practices and community pharmacies are directly competing for flu immunisations and that this could have a potentially destabilising effect financially for both parties.

This year we were faced with using two different types of vaccine for adults, depending on age, with deliveries of vaccines to GP practices and pharmacies being staggered. It was clear that this was going to add to the logistical burden for all parties delivering the vaccine and we felt that it would be in everyone’s interest to have a joint approach in promoting the new vaccine and encouraging uptake.

By increasing immunisation uptake, we can ensure that more of our vulnerable patients in Wessex are protected against influenza whilst at the same time protecting a vital income stream for both practices and pharmacies.”

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