The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a new quality standard (QS) for increasing uptake of flu vaccination among eligible groups of patients.
Non-GP providers, including pharmacists, are expected to give “timely, accurate and consistent notification” to GPs, with the patient’s consent, while GPs should make “timely updates” to a patient’s record.
This will reduce unnecessary invitations and prevent inadvertent duplication of vaccinations, the standard said.
In a consultation on the draft QS, which closed on 3 September 2019, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said that for this to happen, “there needs to be electronic processes in place that enable this to happen in a safe and effective way (e.g. from a community pharmacy to a GP practice)”.
It added that such processes are being implemented by NHS Digital and The Professional Records Standards Body, but must be “embedded into pharmacy systems to ensure ease of use”.
In October 2019, NHS Digital lauched a two-week pilot to test the digital transfer of patient flu data between 113 pharmacies and 81 GP practices in Leeds.
The QS also said providers should invite patients in a “culturally appropriate” way, taking into account patients’ literacy levels and preferred language. Providers should also consider the best way to invite under-served groups for vaccination — including people who are homeless, asylum seekers and young people leaving long-term care.