The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has worked with Public Health England to publish new guidance on how to increase uptake of NHS flu vaccinations by identifying and encouraging those who are eligible.
A number of recommendations are made in the guidance covering seven areas. The table below gives examples of the recommendations included in the guidance; however, the guidance should be read in full to see all the recommendations that are included in the guidance.
It should also be noted that, the guidance is aimed at a number of organisations working in primary and secondary care, therefore some of the recommendations may not be applicable to community pharmacy contractors. For example, recommendations around providing flu vaccinations for children are not applicable as the pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service only covers those patients most at risk from flu aged 18 years and older.
|Area of recommendation
||Example of recommendation
||Raising awareness in eligible groups, for example:
- Raise awareness of free flu vaccination among people who are eligible. Do this at the earliest opportunity before the flu vaccination season starts in September, and ideally by the end of December.
- Consider working with statutory and voluntary organisations, including those representing people with relevant medical conditions, to increase awareness of flu vaccination among eligible groups (and their parents or carers, if relevant).
- Give people who are eligible (or their parents or carers, if relevant) face-to-face brief advice or a brief intervention on the importance of flu vaccination. Tell them that they can have a free flu vaccination and explain why they are being offered it, using language they can understand and taking into account cultural sensitivities.
- Include information on flu vaccination with other health-related messages and existing health-promotion for people in eligible groups.
- Use every opportunity throughout the flu vaccination season to identify people in eligible groups and offer them the flu vaccination. This could include when people visit community pharmacies for health advice, a Medicines Use Review or a New Medicine Service, or to collect prescriptions (check whether the person taking the medicine or their carer is eligible, while taking into account confidentiality).
- Include prompts about people’s eligibility for flu vaccination in electronic patient records.