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Existing flu bookings can be carried out in September, says NHSE

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Existing flu bookings can be carried out in September, says NHSE

NHS England has said pharmacies can administer flu vaccinations next month to patients who have already booked jabs for September.

News that pharmacies will avoid having to rebook appointments, after NHSE decided to delay the service by a month until October, was welcomed by Community Pharmacy England who said it “will have huge operational benefits for pharmacy businesses.”

CPE’s director of NHS services Alastair Buxton said the negotiator was “delighted and relieved” that “common sense” had prevailed even though NHSE has not reinstated the September 1 start date in full.

Care home residents and staff will be eligible for a jab from October 2 and all other patients will be vaccinated from October 7. NHSE said pharmacies will be paid for carrying out appointments next month.

“Pharmacy owners will be relieved by this news and they and their patients should benefit from the avoided disruption which for many businesses could have been significant,” Buxton said.

In a letter to pharmacies and GP practices, NHSE said: “Payment for vaccinations will ordinarily only be made following the service commencement date. However, we understand that some firm commitments and appointments have already been made, so where this is the case and the patient wishes to receive flu vaccination in September, NHS England will permit payment claims to be submitted.”

CPE urged pharmacy owners to review existing appointments, note which patients booked jabs before NHSE’s announcement and update their bookings.

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