The chief executive of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp), Dr Leyla Hannbeck, has made a fresh call on the government to publish the influenza and Covid-19 vaccination service specification, ahead of the planned start of the service next month.

The national flu immunisation season for 2023/24 is set to begin on 1 September, but at the time of publishing this article, providers had not yet received the specification outlining details including how much they will be paid to deliver the service.

The specification for the Covid-19 vaccination service has now been published, and includes a 25% reduction in fee. 

Dr Hannbeck said that she had today asked NHS England (NHSE) to publish the service specifications as soon as possible.

‘We are put in a situation where there is not enough information so that people can plan ahead,’ she told The Pharmacist.

‘People need to plan things, they need to look at the staffing levels, they need to look at the programmes, they need to look at how much we're getting paid.’

She added: ‘All of this needs to be looked at and no information has been forthcoming so far.

‘People are just wondering, why is it that it is always last minute, that pharmacy always has to wait to get things. So, the information needs to be forthcoming,’ Dr Hannbeck said.

A recent update from the British Medical Association (BMA) to GPs suggested that NHS England (NSHE) was considering reducing the fee for the flu vaccination service, since Covid and flu vaccinations can be delivered jointly.

Earlier this year, the government revealed that people aged between 50 and 64 years old will not be eligible for a free flu vaccination in the 2023/24 season.