PSNC issues advice on how to handle GP criticisms of flu vaccination service

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee was prompted to issue ‘responsive lines’ for contractors to use following reports of criticism of the recommissioning of the community pharmacy flu vaccination service.

Flu vaccine


The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee has produced a briefing paper with up-to-date information to help address any misconceptions GPs may have about the community pharmacy flu vaccination service

Pharmacists have been provided with ‘’ to use if doctors or local medical committees (LMCs) question the community pharmacy flu vaccination service.

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), the negotiating body for community pharmacy contractors in England, produced the advice on 31 August 2018, the eve of the 2018/2019 winter immunisation programme, after receiving complaints about GP text messages sent from surgeries to patients, and inappropriate posters in GP surgeries about the community pharmacy flu vaccination service in England.

The advice points out how pharmacists can rebut claims that they are paid more than GPs to deliver the flu vaccine, that they are not qualified to vaccinate, or that pharmacists will only provide the jab for “easy to reach” patients.

The PSNC says that some local pharmaceutical committees (LPCs) have been “experiencing negativity” from local doctors and LMCs about the recommissioning of the advanced service.

It advises that while pharmacists should deal with any tensions themselves by talking to the practice or the LMC, they should also tell their local NHS England team about any incidents and ask it to intervene if problems persist.

The PSNC has produced a  to arm LPCs and contractors with up-to-date information to help address any misconceptions GPs may have about the service and it has said it is working on flu vaccination guidance aimed at both LPCs and LMCs, which it hopes to agree with the British Medical Association.

The reports of tension between GPs and community pharmacists follow a similar pattern to 2017, when some doctors were accused of sending texts to patients claiming that flu vaccines offered by community pharmacists were less safe than those delivered by GPs.

In other cases, it was claimed that GPs had told their patients that the viability of their practice was threatened by the work carried being out by community pharmacists.

In January 2018, the PSNC confirmed that community pharmacists in England would be able to offer a seasonable flu vaccination programme again this winter as an advanced service under the national contract. They are expected to target older people aged over 65 years and patients in at-risk groups.

An NHS England patient satisfaction survey published in September 2017 found that almost every patient vaccinated against flu at a community pharmacy in the winter of 2016/2017 would be happy to have it in community pharmacy again.

Citation: The Salvadore DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205385

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Integrated Pharmacy Case Studies

    Over 90 case studies based on real life patient-care scenarios. Each case includes learning outcomes and references.

  • Minor Illness or Major Disease

    This established textbook helps you differentiate between minor illnesses which can be safely managed in the pharmacy, and major diseases.

  • Pathology and Therapeutics for Pharmacists

    An practical, integrated approach to the pathophysiological and pharmacotherapeutic principles underlying the treatment of disease.

  • MCQs in Pharmacy Practice

    A study aid with 800 MCQs. Assess your knowledge, analytical skills, and ability to apply this knowledge base in clinical practice.

  • FASTtrack: Therapeutics

    FASTtrack: Therapeutics is a revision book for pharmacy students. It covers all the main systems of the body with a summary of therapeutics.


Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete

Supplementary images

  • Flu vaccine

Jobs you might like

  • Duns, Scottish Borders

  • Essex

  • Wembley, London (Greater)

  • Sleaford, Lincolnshire

  • South West England

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.