Flu Vaccination – vaccinating outside the consultation room & off-site

Flu Vaccination – vaccinating outside the consultation room & off-site

The flexibilities and approaches that were introduced in 2020/21 are enduring changes and contractors can continue to use them to support provision of the service this year.

Click on a heading below for more information.


Vaccinating in the pharmacy, but not in the consultation room

This flexibility allows contractors to provide the service in an alternative location in the pharmacy where this supports better social distancing, provided it can be undertaken in a way which maintains patient safety and confidentiality.

Read additional guidance on matters contractors may need to take into account if they intend to use this flexibility

Off-site provision

Flu vaccinations can be provided to patients in their own homes (including care homes) or at other off-site locations. Contractors are not required to submit a notification of intent to provide off-site NHS flu vaccinations to their regional NHSE&I team.

Provision of the service in locations outside of the pharmacy premises may provide greater space for patients, greater ability to manage patient flow to maintain social distancing, and better waiting facilities in the event of poor weather.

The sites could include:

  • Marquees outside the pharmacy premises;
  • Local village, town or community halls;
  • Church halls, temples or mosques;
  • Adapted mobile units such as buses or vans;
  • Car parks; and
  • Sports halls / Stadiums.

Read additional guidance on matters contractors may need to take into account if they intend to use this flexibility

NHSE&I requires that pharmacists providing flu vaccinations in a patient’s own home or a care home have a valid Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate in place.

Care homes

Contractors can offer to vaccinate patients over 18 years of age who are living in long-stay residential care homes, or other long-stay care facilities as well as the care home staff at their place of work.

There is no requirement for contractors to have notified the patient’s general practice in advance of vaccination when providing flu vaccinations at a care home. However as is the case for provision in the pharmacy, contractors must ensure that a notification of the vaccination is sent to the patient’s GP practice on the same day the vaccine is administered or on the following working day.

Read additional guidance on matters contractors may need to take into account if they intend to use this flexibility

Additional Guidance

Guidance for Pharmacists Delivering a Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Service to Care Homes
This guidance was developed by the Suffolk CCGs’ Safeguarding Team and West Suffolk CCG Medicines Management Team.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): looking after people who lack mental capacity
Guidance for health and social care staff who are caring for, or treating, a person who lacks the relevant mental capacity. Amongst the guidance, Annex A – decision-making flowchart for decision-makers in hospitals and care homes provides help to decision-makers in hospitals and care homes to make decisions in relation to adults who lack the relevant mental capacity to consent to their care and treatment.

Assessing Mental Capacity and Gaining Consent
This guidance was developed by the Suffolk CCGs’ Safeguarding Team and West Suffolk CCG Medicines Management Team.

Additional points for all off-site provision

Support

Pharmacy professionals should consider being accompanied by a trained pharmacy support staff member when providing flu vaccinations off-site. The primary role of the support staff member is to assist in the event of an emergency, but they could also undertake administrative tasks and, where necessary, act as a chaperone.

Clinical Waste

Contractors must ensure that they meet the requirements of the Waste (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 in terms of transferring pharmaceutical waste from the site of vaccination back to the pharmacy premises for subsequent safe disposal.

Maintaining the cold chain

Practitioners must ensure that the cold chain storage of the vaccines is maintained. Vaccines should be taken from the pharmacy fridge and placed into an appropriate validated cool box (which will maintain the vaccines at a temperature between 2˚C and 8˚C) just before travel to the off-site location.

The vaccines should be kept in their packaging and should be insulated from the cooling system within the cool box, e.g. using bubble wrap, to avoid the risk of freezing. Any unused vaccines should be returned to the pharmacy fridge within eight hours of first removal.

Professional Standards

When considering any provision of flu vaccination services outside the pharmacy, contractors and their pharmacists are reminded that all the usual professional standards apply in whatever setting the service is provided. Any planning or risk assessments need to keep these standards central to considerations of how to provide the service, as they will offer a useful framework to help decision making.

Return to the flu vaccination hub page

 



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