Welsh pharmacists will be paid £11.83 per flu vaccination this year, after Community Pharmacy Wales (CPW) successfully negotiated a fee uplift of £1.75.

The extra £1.75 per vaccine has been agreed to help cover the additional Covid-19-related costs pharmacies will incur providing the service this year, CPW said.

In July, the Welsh government announced it would be expanding its flu vaccination programme so that people over 50, those living with people in the shielded group and residents in Welsh prisons will be eligible for a free vaccine this winter.

The vaccination will continue to be freely available to existing eligible groups, including those aged over 65 years, pregnant women and people with medical conditions.

The fee per vaccination paid to Welsh pharmacists is higher than their English and Scottish counterparts, with pharmacists in Scotland to be paid £8.27 this year, and English pharmacists £10.08.

In Scotland, pharmacists will be administering the vaccine for the first time, and will also receive a £250 one-off fee for participating in this year’s expanded programme.

In England, the fee paid per vaccination remains at the same level as last year - £9.58 – but PSNC agreed an additional uplift of 50p per jab, which will come from the Transition Fund.  

‘Increasing pressures’

A spokesperson for CPW told the Pharmacist they were ‘pleased that the Welsh Government has increased the fee paid by vaccine administered’.

‘In doing so, they have acknowledged the additional Covid-related costs associated with delivering the NHS seasonal influenza service and responded positively to helping community pharmacists meet those costs,’ they added.

Meanwhile, community pharmacists in Wales have reported increasing workload pressures due to the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, particularly in lockdown areas.

In a bulletin sent to contractors in Wales last week (17 September), CPW reminded contractors to update changes to their pressure levels on the escalation tool on NECAF.

At the time of writing, both Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf were under local lockdown restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19 after a sharp rise in cases across the two counties.