Get your pharmacy teams prepared for the flu season
The NHS Community Pharmacy seasonal influenza vaccination Advanced Service 2018/19 started on 1 September and runs until 31 March. NHS England has released the Patient Group Direction (PGD) and service specification. The amendments to the Pharmaceutical Services (Advanced and Enhanced Services) (England) Directions 2013 are yet to be made; this will be communicated once available. The flu Advanced Service 2018/19 is for those 18 years of age and over in the eligible patient groups.
Important changes to the NHS flu service 2018/19:
• Pharmacy contractors no longer need to inform/register with NHS Business Services Authority before providing the flu Advanced Service 2018/19
• Flu vaccines can now be administered in patients’ homes.
• The total service fee has increased to £9.48 which includes £7.98 per administered dose plus £1.50 per vaccination. Up from £9.14, an increase of 34p from last year.
• Payment claims can now be made electronically
• Pharmacists need only complete the face-to-face training every three years. More details are available on the NPA website.
Changes to vaccination training requirements for the NHS flu service 2018/19
While the requirement for face-to-face training is now every three years, all pharmacists must ensure their competency to administer parenteral vaccinations is assessed and maintained. Especially if they also provide other NHS and/or private vaccination services.
In the event of a patient safety incident, as part of the incident investigation, the pharmacist’s vaccination skills competency may be reviewed. Therefore, each pharmacist should complete a vaccination skills assessment annually to self-check their own competency to provide vaccination services, both NHS and private.
The NPA, in conjunction with our PGD and training provider, has produced a vaccination skills assessment form to assess pharmacist competency in a ‘live’ environment. It’s free to those signing up to the NPA PGD Services and/or vaccination training.
For pharmacists who have not signed up to the NPA PGD services, a generic vaccination skills assessment template is available as part of the National Minimum Standards and Core Curriculum for Immunisation Training for Registered Healthcare Practitioners.
Any pharmacist who is unsure of their own competency is recommended to complete the full practical face-to-face vaccination training — even if it is sooner than the three year requirement.
NPA professional indemnity
NPA professional indemnity insurance covers NPA members to provide PGD services (private and/or NHS) which may include vaccination services, both off-site and from the pharmacy. All PGD and service requirements must be fulfilled correctly.
It remains responsibility of the pharmacist, in all cases, to ensure that they are trained, confident and competent to offer the vaccination services (NHS and/or private) including management of anaphylaxis and resuscitation techniques. The pharmacist must decide for themselves each year whether they should undergo the full vaccination training or the online refresher training.
Checklist – are you ready to deliver the flu service?
1. Download the new NHS flu service PGD and associated guidance and documents
2. Read all the documents and the NHS flu PGD, ensuring understanding of the PGD contents, eligible groups, exclusion/ inclusion criteria and record keeping requirements
3. Print the NHS flu PGD and complete the Practitioner declaration to state you have read and understood the PGD and are going to work within your competence and professional code of conduct
4. Complete the Authorising Manager declaration
Your vital NPA support
The NPA has developed a suite of flu resources to support members in delivering both NHS and private influenza vaccination services. These will be available to download from the NPA website next week.
The NPA also offers highly competitive rates for a full range of private flu, oral and travel PGDs (with associated training) across all UK countries. You can now book your full face-to-face vaccination training, or online refresher training, by visiting the NPA PGD website, or contact the NPA PGD team by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.