Contractors will receive a £9.48 fee for each flu vaccination they deliver once the service recommences in September, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has announced.
The fee for the service will increase by 34p to £7.98 per administered dose plus an additional fee for £1.50 per vaccination, the negotiator said this afternoon (20 August).
PSNC lauded the service, which it said ‘continues to go from strength to strength’ and is due to commence on 1 September pending amendments being made to the Secretary of State directions made by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
The negotiator said it will notify contractors when the amendments have been made and there is a fixed date on which they can begin to offer the service.
Other ‘key improvements’ on the service that PSNC has arranged with NHS England include allowing contractors to administer vaccinations in patients’ homes and allowing pharmacy to claim payments for the service electronically, it said.
Contractors now only require face-to-face flu training every three years and are no longer required to register to offer the service with the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA).
Social care workers and hospice care workers have been added to the ‘at-risk’ group eligible for the service.
Following the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), the service’s consent form and record form have been separated.
‘Very welcome extra income’
PSNC director of NHS services Alastair Buxton said: ‘We are delighted to confirm these changes to the pharmacy Flu Vaccination Service which will help to streamline some of the processes for pharmacies and of course bring some very welcome extra income through the increased payments.
‘The service continues to go from strength to strength and I am looking forward to seeing pharmacies vaccinating record numbers of patients once again this year. The service is just one way in which pharmacies are helping to support their patients and the wider NHS and we were very pleased to see the clear recognition of that value in the negotiations this year.
‘My team will be working with NHS England over the next few days to finalise all the information, resources and guidance that pharmacy teams will need to offer the service, and despite some potential logistical challenges with the vaccination for people aged 65 and over I am confident that community pharmacies have another excellent flu vaccination season ahead of them.’
Tricia Kennerley, a member of PSNC’s negotiating team and drector of international public affairs at Walgreens Boots Alliance, said: ‘Although offering NHS flu vaccinations is by now a well-established community pharmacy service, each year an enormous amount of work goes into negotiating and finalising the details with NHS England, so it is very good news that once again pharmacies can be a part of this important campaign.
‘At the same time, we hope that the improvements and increased payments negotiated successfully by PSNC, are a positive indication of the collaborative relationship that we are working to rebuild with the NHS and Government.
‘Offering vaccinations is just one way in which pharmacies can support NHS England in meeting its objectives. When our wider negotiations begin we will be looking to build on the services already commissioned and agree more ways in which we can develop the clinical role that pharmacies can play in supporting their local communities, patients and the health service.’
PSNC has released a briefing on this year’s service for contractors and is holding a webinar on the topic tomorrow night (21 August) at 7pm.