This winter more than ever, with COVID-19 cases rising, ensuring a high uptake of flu vaccination is critical to keeping people well and reducing pressure on the health service.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) are urging pharmacists and GPs to work together to maximise the number of people who will receive a flu jab and help achieve the Government ambition of delivering the “biggest flu vaccination programme in history”.
A collaborative approach to flu vaccination is crucial across primary care, putting patients first and ensuring possible competition between health care providers does not impact negatively on GP or pharmacy practice or lead to unnecessary tensions between the professions.
We have agreed a number of principles and recommendations, including on collaboration, using the skill mix of healthcare professions to support vaccinations, and ensuring staff safety.
RPS President Sandra Gidley:
“With winter pressures and COVID-19, this year it’s more important than ever that pharmacists and GPs work together so everyone who needs a flu vaccination can get one. This needs to be supported by adequate resources, the right information systems, and ensuring staff can work safely.”
RCGP Joint Honorary Secretary, Dr Jonathan Leach said:
“Seasonal flu can be a serious illness, which poses a real risk to people’s health. As we continue to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, its vital that we protect as many people as possible from the flu, particularly those in at risk groups, such as older people, pregnant women and patients with long-term conditions and learning difficulties, and reduce the pressures on the health system.
“General practice and community pharmacy sit at the heart of communities. By working together across primary care, we can ensure that vulnerable individuals are able to access the protection which the flu vaccine affords.”