We have taken the flu vaccination service very seriously. For all of us to successfully deliver the service, this has needed a great deal of planning and preparation. All the pharmacists and locum pharmacists have been trained and the managers and owners are armed with resources and information, including posters and SOPs. As this is the first clinical service commissioned by NHS England for community pharmacy, we hope to showcase a quality service and the benefit to all our patients.
Mukesh Lad, Mr Pickford’s Pharmacy Group and LIPCO Healthcare
What have we done in terms of prep for cold and flu? We’ve had a team meeting to discuss flu and how important it is to the population and discussed the criteria for flu vaccination and exceptions. We have spoken to the local surgeries to help build continued trust and ensure there is no ill feeling around the new service. We have briefed staff on how to build conversations in with patients, the process for vaccinating in pharmacy and other options to prevent and treat if a person is not eligible.
Vishal Mashru, VM Pharmacy Services, Leicester
We are very excited about this new service. The staff have flu T-shirts, we have posters displayed in all branches and we have had 20,000 flyers produced. We have 12 pharmacists trained up to offer flu vaccinations. This is an opportunity to show how pharmacy can drive up the number of vaccinations and how we can engage with patients who have not previously had their vaccination at their GP surgery.
Peter Badham, Badham’s Pharmacy, Gloucester
Our pharmacist has had training for the flu service and I have re-qualified, too. We have printed off posters for the windows, have labels for all script and counter bags and all our staff are aware of sign-up processes. The vaccines are in stock, so here we go!
Coll Michaels, Calverton Pharmacy, Luton
We have prepared our pharmacy teams for the flu season through training of various types. For example, not only have they been trained on how to administer vaccinations and how to engage patients, but each dispensary team has reviewed their product knowledge of all the winter medicines and have been trained to link sell them alongside the flu vaccination service. Furthermore, we have provided a guide for all pharmacy teams to remind our colleagues of the benefits of flu vaccinations and who the target groups are. It also lists some additional engagement tips. We have also produced YouTube videos that inform patients about the benefits and eligibility requirements for flu vaccinations and tackle frequently asked questions.
Jay Patel, Day Lewis Pharmacy
Our flu season preparations included the following:
I have a good working relationship with the local surgery and it is not cost effective for us to offer flu vaccinations. Unless I intend to rob the GP of his income, it is not worth the risk. We will still be promoting flu vaccinations, and then directing people to the surgery.
Gary Jones, Borth Pharmacy, Aberystwyth
First, my staff were trained using an updated SOP for the national flu vaccination service. We’re using last year’s badges and T-shirts, and we installed the in-store theatre and window displays before I was then customarily vaccinated myself!
Sultan ‘Sid’ Dajani, Wainwrights Chemist, Bishopstoke