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New NHS Alliance highlights an opportunity for NHS England Area Teams to engage Community Pharmacy in providing flu vaccination to reception and school age children

April 13, 2017

The aim is to produce community immunity through immunisation. Over the years we have struggled to hit WHO or Public Health targets – the New NHS Alliance believe that we must do better. Community Pharmacy has contributed a significant number of immunisations and joint working with General Practice is becoming more common. The flu letter for 2017 – 2018 has arrived and introduces the immunisation of reception and school age children for the first time.

Community Pharmacy wants to make a greater contribution and to help Public Health England achieve their 40-65% immunisation targets, but unfortunately seem to be excluded. Community Pharmacy has been excluded from the last program by not being able to access nationally purchased vaccine from the national stock for the immunisation of children.

Within the letter GPs are being asked to immunise 2 to 3 year old children. The immunisation of school age children will be delivered by school nurses and if any children miss their slot they will have to go to General Practice.

The NHS England Area Teams have the opportunity of introducing programs that are slightly different for their areas. The New NHS Alliance would like to suggest the following:

  • Allow Community Pharmacy to be part of the service and allow access to vaccines from within the national purchasing scheme.
  • To allow community pharmacies to deliver the service to school near their pharmacy.
  • To allow community pharmacy to immunise children that have missed their opportunity within the school based program

Mark Robinson, NNHSA Executive member and special advisor – community pharmacy, said:

“We must remember that the aim is to produce community immunity and we must be disappointed that we continue to miss the national and international targets. We must try harder and do differently. It would seem an omission that community pharmacy does not have a clearer position in delivering the targets.”

He added: “We have shown that increasing the engagement between community pharmacy, children and their parents creates greater awareness of the services provided within the pharmacy – and has increased the number of minor ailment consultations in the pharmacy and reduced prescribing in General Practice. It is about time that we thought ‘one primary care’ and utilised community pharmacy more.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

  • For enquiries,interviews or further comment, please contact: Judy Harris at judyharris15@aol.co.uk  or on 07717 691845
  • New NHS Alliance mission is … ‘to infect the UK health system with wellness’. You can find more information here
  • New NHS Alliance has a goal to make Health Creation and health creating practices a core part of the UK healthcare system alongside a greater focus on prevention. We believe that this is the best way to reduce health inequalities and deliver a sustainable health service. Click here for a short briefing paper on Health Creation.
  • You can find coverage of our Health Creation Action Summit here