Pharmacy flu vaccination service recommissioned

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Pharmacy flu vaccination service recommissioned

NHS England has announced it will recommission the Community Pharmacy Seasonal Influenza Vaccination programme in 2016/17. 

The terms and fees for the recommissioned service will remain the same as in 2015/16. Further guidance will be issued to contractors once legislation and associated documents have been updated to take into account the recommissioning of this service.

Alastair Buxton, director of NHS Services at PSNC, said: “This early announcement of recommissioning will help pharmacy contractors prepare for provision of this important service and is to be welcomed.”

The announcement proved controversial among doctors, with GP magazine Pulse calling the scheme "ill-fated" and claiming it contributed to a fall in vaccination uptake and cost general practice millions of pounds.

Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the British Medical Association's General Practitioners Committee, was quoted as saying: "Practices will be frustrated that NHS England is ignoring the evidence that the extension of the flu immunisation scheme this year failed to deliver significant improvements and in fact led to a drop in overall uptake, fragmentation of a previously good service to patients, wasted vaccine that had been pre-ordered by practices and in some cases undermined previously good relationships between practices and pharmacies."

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