Rob Darracott, chief executive of Pharmacy Voice, commented on the announcement of the contractual framework:
“A national flu vaccination service is a great step forward for community pharmacy, not least because it means that all patients who are eligible for an NHS flu vaccination can be directed to their local pharmacy for it. Pharmacy Voice has often made the case for flu vaccination services to be extended nationally, to get rid of the commissioned restrictions that have prevented pharmacy, to date, from helping the whole system reach the targets for vaccination set by the Chief Medical Officer.
“Schemes such as that run successfully in London for the past two years have shown the huge impact that consistent year-on-year delivery can offer. It makes perfect sense for all patients needing their NHS vaccination to have the ease of access and choice community pharmacy offers them. Time is tight to turn this service around for 2015 – we’re only 10 weeks from the beginning of October – so Pharmacy Voice will support our members in communicating the service to patients, working with colleagues in NHS England to support community pharmacy provision with the message that you can visit your local pharmacy for an NHS flu vaccination.
“Pharmacy Voice also welcomes an evidence based review of the cost to pharmacy of running the electronic prescription service; if patients are to continue to get their medicines safely and without issue it’s vital that any electronic system that helps us to do that runs smoothly and reliably.”