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GP networks can use extended access appointments to give flu jabs



GP practices in primary care networks can use some of their extended access slots to ‘maximise’ delivery of flu jabs, NHS England has said.

In a new flu FAQ document published on Friday, NHS England said that PCNs can use ‘a proportion’ of their daily extended hours appointments to offer flu vaccines.

The document said: ‘It is important this year to maximise the opportunities for flu vaccination delivery. Under the network contract DES, PCNs may provide pre-booked appointments. 

‘It is therefore possible for the PCN to offer patients individual flu vaccinations, where it is convenient, in a proportion of the extended hours access appointments in a given daily extended hours ‘block’ of appointments.’

NHS England added that practices should also collaborate with each other and with community pharmacies to deliver flu vaccinations in care homes this season.

It said: ‘Providers are strongly encouraged to deliver vaccinations in such a way that minimises the number of parties entering the home to administer vaccinations. 

‘A co-ordinated professional approach to maximise local uptake, involving both general practice and community pharmacy providers, will be necessary.’

It comes as practices were last week invited to bid for a £12.2m fund to cover the ‘reasonable additional’ costs of delivering this year’s extended flu vaccinations programme.

The Government is targeting 30 million people in this year’s expanded flu vaccination campaign, with a larger number of patients having been made eligible for free flu jabs.