Flu Vaccination – communicating with GP practices

Flu Vaccination – communicating with GP practices

The national community pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service 2020/21 has now finished. Community pharmacy contractors are therefore reminded not to administer any further vaccinations under this service.

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 it can no longer be sent by fax).

If IT systems, such as PharmOutcomes or Sonar Informatics, 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.

GP Practice Notification Form 2021/22 (Word)

GP Practice Notification Form 2021/22 (PDF)

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.

Click on a heading below for more information.

Should I provide the GP practice with other information?

Some GP practices have asked pharmacy teams for extra information on the flu vaccination, such as the brand, batch number and expiry date of the vaccine administered by the pharmacist. Some practices have also asked for information on the injection site. The national GP Practice Notification Form does not include fields to provide this information to GP practices, as there is no need for GP practices to record this data in their patient records.

It is likely that GP practices that are requesting this information from pharmacies are doing so because they are attempting to record the vaccination undertaken by the pharmacist in the wrong way, for example, they may erroneously be attempting to record the vaccination as if the practice had administered the vaccine.

Page 30 of the following guide for GP practices using the EMIS web clinical system shows that the recording of a pharmacy administered flu vaccination does not require details beyond those that are contained on the national GP Practice Notification Form.

Flu Immunisation Campaign – A Resource for EMIS Web Users

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.

Social media
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.

IT system notifications to GP systems

Direct notifications can be communicated between some clinical IT systems (e.g. from pharmacy system to GP practice system) to improve patients’ experiences and care outcomes, and to bring other health-related benefits.

This depends upon the system supplier using the relevant IT standards. Read more about this and which systems can send such flu vaccination notifications at: Notifications from pharmacy systems to GP practice systems via IT.

Return to the flu vaccination hub page


Latest Services and Commissioning news

View more Services and Commissioning news >