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Pharmacists will give flu vaccine from September

Patients could receive their seasonal influenza vaccine at community pharmacies from September 2015, NHS Employers announced.

As part of a new contractual framework participating pharmacies will vaccinate patients aged 18 and over, who are defined in the annual flu letter.

This was agreed after negotiations between NHS England and Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), in return for a funding package of £2.8 billion for 2015/16, and additional flu funding.

Felicity Cox, lead negotiator for the NHS Employers organisation, said  “this new service expands the role of Community Pharmacy, making better use of the clinical skills of pharmacists and delivering improved choice and access to services for people.” 

Additional changes to the contractual framework mean that pharmacists will be required to point out to patients who claim exemption from prescription charges, where no evidence is presented, that the NHS routinely checks claims for exemption and takes action whenever inappropriate claims are made.

There will also be a joint working group established to review the costs and system issues for the Electronic Prescription Service, and pharmacies will be required to participate in a national audit that will take place in 2015/16.