2nd Flu Letter Published Wednesday 5 August 2020:
1st Flu Letter Published 14th May 2020:
For pharmacies wishing to participate in the London and National Flu service 2020/21, you must complete an expression of interest online with Sonar Informatics.
Completing this registration is mandatory for all pharmacies wishing to participate. Please see the following information from Sonar Informatics and follow the link to complete your registration online. SLAs will be available on Sonar when published.
This London service covers the following vaccinations by Community Pharmacists:
- The National Advanced Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Service – Sonar will be also sending claims to the BSA via MYS. This service is only available from Sonar in London.
- The London Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Service – cohorts outside of those covered by the National Advanced Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Service under this service specification (Cohorts to be confirmed)
- The London Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccination Service – cohorts covered specifically in the National PPV PGD and service specification (18 and over for London)
- The Pharmacy will offer both vaccines to eligible patients in line with the service specifications
- Providers must sign up to Sonar and deliver the National Advanced service as a requirement for provision of the London Enhanced service.
Link to register: https://www.sonarinformatics.com/home/eoi
Please familiarise yourself with these documents in preparation for this year’s vaccination service.
The London flu service will be provided under a private PGD as per the Specification.
3.1 The Service will be known as the London Pharmacy Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Service 2020/21 and complements the National NHS England Flu service specification under the advanced services of the contractual framework. This local London service can be provided by any pharmacy in London that is also signed up to delivering the National Advanced Flu service. The cost will be met by NHS England and Improvement London. The vaccine is to be administered by an appropriately trained pharmacist under the authority of a private PGD.
If any pharmacy needs a private PGD – please contact Sonar Informatics for support
Flu Vaccinations and Front Line Staff
All DOP providers are asked to encourage and enable staff who are eligible for a free flu jab to take this up, and to make sure all other members of their teams are also vaccinated. This will meet their responsibility to protect their staff and patients and support the resilience of the health and care system. It is particularly important to ensure that staff in all vulnerable groups including BAME employees, are adequately protected this winter.
If you attend a pharmacy for your free ‘flu jab, you will be asked to provide NHS ID; please find attached a letter to confirm you are an NHS Dentist or staff member.
We have been receiving emails that Pharmacy have been turning away Dentist, Optometrists and Pharmacy (DOP) staff that are eligible for vaccination under the London Influenza SLA. These cohorts are able to be vaccinated by pharmacies who have signed up to provide the Seasonal Influenza London Pharmacy service under section 2.3 (detailed below)
- 2.3 Staff working in hospital trusts and primary care settings should be vaccinated routinely by their occupational health provider. However, in instances where they are unable to attend a session, and the provider is not holding any more, there will be an opportunity for them to be vaccinated at their local pharmacy by showing their NHS ID. This also includes dental, optometry and pharmacy staff. Pharmacies will be able to select the appropriate category for staff falling within this eligibility from the Sonar system.
Please find attached the user guides for www.myvaccinations.co.uk from Sonar, they have also noted the following main differences from last year:
- Stock levels have to be input prior to making an entry – use the user guides. As sonar will be sending the claim to the BSA, we need the correct vaccine input( In past years this has been a problem) . By inputting the stock in your fridge first – should avoid this happening.
- QR codes – Pharmacies should print off the QR Poster so we reduce time spent in confined spaces with patients ( we do not need a signed consent so all entry can be electronic ) .
- www.londonflu.co.uk or www.myvaccinations.co.uk can be used for the booking service .
Winter Planning and PPE
The following update was issued 10th September 2020, with information on the ordering of PPE as part of Winter Planning
Guidance on PPE use
The national COVID-19 infection prevention and control recommendations issued were updated in late August 2020. These changes affected community pharmacy service provision, particularly this year’s flu vaccination scheme.
The updated section is as follows, available on p14 of the full document, which states:
NB. In some clinical outpatient settings, such as vaccination/injection clinics, where contact with individuals is minimal, the need for single use PPE items for each encounter, for example, gloves and aprons is not necessary. Gloves and aprons are recommended when there is (anticipated) exposure to blood/body fluids or non-intact skin. Staff administering vaccinations/injections must apply hand hygiene between patients and wear a sessional facemask.
full guidance is available at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/910885/COVID-19_Infection_prevention_and_control_guidance_FINAL_PDF_20082020.pdf
LPC Support notes
From the SLA :
Summary of key changes for 2020/21
- Need to obtain written consent removed. Contractors must record verbal consent obtained
- Patient cohorts updated to reflect the content of the 2020/21 Annual Flu Letter
- Need to notify regional teams prior to undertaking vaccinations off-site is removed
- Need to notify patient’s GP in advance of vaccinating a patient in their home / care home is removed
- Restrictions on off-site vaccination (only in patient’s home and care homes) removed and contractors are now able to vaccinate off-site within professional standards (this includes being able to vaccinate care home staff within the care home)
- Contractors able to vaccinate patients in any appropriate space within the pharmacy (although the requirement to have a consultation room remains, and the patient must still be able to have their vaccination in the consultation room if they request it
From Local Authority:
- Ensure that the ethnicity sector is filled in and communicated for each client that you vaccinate
- Ensure you are aware when you are receiving your ordered vaccine. They should be starting to reach you from Friday this week.
- If experiencing shortage of vaccine you can buy stock from your local providers if they have got excess stock
- The procedure to access stock from the national stock supply will be made available to everyone as and when that procedure is released.
- Stocks from warehouses might be limited as stocks have been bought nationally to support the flu campaign this year
Recruitment of patients:
- Please ensure that if providing vaccination under National/London scheme, then only those that are allowed are targeted for eg 50-64year old will be included at a later date but currently are not included till further notification
- Ensure your patients are aware that you provide the service. Please ensure suitable posters, badges are used to promote your service
- Off site administration process has been simplified so ensure that if you intend to provide vaccination to care homes , housebound patients etc then those contacts have been made and appointments confirmed. SONAR has a facility to book appointments. Please consider using that facility to support you.
- You are aware of cohorts updated in the 2020/21 Annual Flu Letter
- Ensure you have access to sufficient PPE
- Ensure that SOPs and Risk Assessments have been updates to reflect Infection Control and Prevention within your premises
When will I get my vaccines?
Vaccines will be managed and delivered at fixed times . Please ensure that you are aware during which week your vaccines will be supplied.
Will the GPs be getting it before me ?
Deliveries of vaccines will happen based on the area that you are located. Both GP and Pharmacy located within a particular vicinity will be getting it at the same time
Do I need wear PPE to deliver the service?
Please see the PPE updates which reflects the current advice. Wearing PPE and ensuring surfaces are cleaned before and after administration of vaccines will reduce risk of infection
Do I need to complete the ethnicity section?
Will more vaccines be available in the system?
As the government may increase the range of cohorts they will also ensure that vaccines can be ordered from the central stock.
What do I do if I haven’t ordered my vaccines yet?
It’s too late to place order for a guaranteed supply. If you haven’t ordered yet then kindly do the following
- Ring the manufacturers and ensure that you have expressed an interest to gain supply.
- Contact your local pharmacies and surgeries to see if they can lend you some
- Ring the wholesalers and place an order with them so that when they receive the supply they can provide you with some .
- Approach your PCN lead and see if they can assist you in anyway
By placing an order with the wholesalers there is no guarantee that you will get all of the stock ordered. It will be advisable to enact on all the 4 suggestions.
Do I need a consultation room to provide the Flu vaccination service?
PSNC have given the following guidance:
Having a consultation room is a prerequisite for provision of the Flu Vaccination Service. The consultation room, which will be used to undertake vaccinations, must comply with the minimum requirements set out below:
- the consultation room must be clearly designated as an area for confidential consultations;
- it must be distinct from the general public areas of the pharmacy premises; and
- it must be a room where both the person receiving services and the pharmacist providing those services are able to sit down together and talk at normal speaking volumes without being overheard by any other person (including pharmacy staff), other than a person whose presence the patient requests or consents to (such as a carer or chaperone). The consultation room must also meet the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) Standards for Registered Premises.