GPs have been electronically notified of over 30,000 flu vaccinations provided in community pharmacies during the current flu season, NHS Digital has said.
The NHS Digital notification scheme was piloted in 113 community pharmacies in Leeds in October and then expanded across England for pharmacies and GPs using Pharmoutcomes and SystmOne over November and December, with other suppliers expected to follow suit this year.
The scheme is thought to help practices avoid contacting patients unnecessarily and allow them to focus on those in at-risk groups who haven’t had their vaccine yet.
The content of the electronic messages is based on a ‘pharmacy information flows data standard’ created by the Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB).
PRSB said the scheme “saved time for GP practices and pharmacies, helped to improve data quality and reduced the possibility of errors,” adding that the service would “eventually” be expanded to include information on other community pharmacy services”.
PRSB chair professor Maureen Baker said: “The Leeds Pilot is an early example of the benefits of digital information sharing between GPs and pharmacies that our standards help to deliver. For GPs, getting up to date information about patients’ pharmacy treatments is key to their ongoing care. And sharing the information digitally saves GPs’ precious time, while making care better and safer.”
NHS Digital senior clinical lead Vishen Ramkisson said: “This is a valuable enhancement which helps ensure the information in patients’ medical records is comprehensive and up to date. Services which make it easier for health professionals to share critical information, such as about whether a vaccination has been given, enable them to provide the best care possible to patients.”
During the current flu season community pharmacies have recorded the provision of 1,517,325 flu jabs as of February 27, according to PSNC, with 1,282,987 of these recorded using PharmOutcomes.