Principles for collaboration across Great Britain
Influenza (flu) is a common virus which can have serious consequences and leads to thousands of deaths each year. The flu vaccine provides the best protection against this virus and wide uptake of the vaccine is vitally important for those at higher risk.
This winter more than ever, with COVID-19 still circulating, a concerted effort is needed to help reduce all avoidable risks. Ensuring a high uptake of flu vaccination is critical to keep people well and negate excessive pressure and strain on NHS services.
UK Government and the NHS will be promoting and driving the uptake of the number of vaccinations this year and all parts of the UK are taking appropriate steps towards preparedness for winter pressures.
In order to reach the number of people who will require a flu vaccine this year the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) have developed these principles:
- General practice and community pharmacy should take a collaborative approach to delivering the flu vaccine programme;
- The skills and experience of all eligible, trained and available healthcare professions should be utilised to ensure widespread take-up of the vaccine;
- The safety of staff undertaking the administration of vaccinations is paramount.
The RCGP and the RPS believe that a well-coordinated, collaborative approach to flu vaccination is crucial across primary care. This should include mechanisms to ensure any possible competition between health care providers does not impact negatively on GP or pharmacy practice or lead to unnecessary tensions between the professions.
We have developed the following recommendations to assist professionals and NHS Boards/commissioners in planning for flu vaccinations: