The flu vaccination service specification has been published by NHS England;
The national Patient Group Direction (PGD) and a national protocol to support provision of flu vaccinations will be published shortly;
The service will commence on Thursday 1st September 2022;
Training requirements have been updated to allow more flexibility for contractors and pharmacists; and
Claims for payment now need to be made within three months of administration of the vaccine.
NHS England has, this afternoon (16th August 2022), published the service specification for the 2022/23 Community Pharmacy Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service.
Changes to legal frameworks
The PGD, developed by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), is going through the NHS England authorisation process and will be published shortly.
As last year, the PGD will be able to be used by an appropriately trained practitioner to provide the Advanced service. This will therefore allow contractors to use other healthcare professions listed in the PGD (e.g. nurses) to provide the service under the supervision of a pharmacist.
A National Protocol will also be in place to support the flu vaccination programme for 2022/23. This can be used by contractors as an alternative to the PGD, where they are able to make use of the skill mix flexibilities allowed by the protocol. Clinical supervision of the service will still need to be provided by a pharmacist.
When the PGD and protocol are published, an announcement will be on this website.
Following discussions with PSNC, NHS England has updated the face-to-face training requirements for flu vaccinations. Pharmacists and other authorised vaccinators providing the service will now only be required to undertake periodic face-to-face refresher training. This change aligns the sector with the current vaccination training requirements for nurses and doctors.
In addition, an alternative option to the Declaration of Competence (DoC) to assure the competency of individual staff who are vaccinators has been added to the service specification. The Flu vaccinator competency assessment tool can be used as a self-assessment tool or as an assessment tool to help demonstrate the competency of a vaccinator.
Funding for the service comes from the NHS vaccination budget and is in addition to and outside of global sum funding for 2022/23. For the 2022/23 season, the service fee remains at £9.58 plus the cost of the vaccine.
As an amendment to the service, claims for service provision will now only be accepted by the NHS Business Services Authority within three months of administration of the vaccination in accordance with the usual Drug Tariff claims process.
Commenting on the publication of the service documentation, Alastair Buxton, Director of NHS Services, PSNC said:
“Pharmacy teams played a major role in the growth in vaccinations administered last year. In response to reports of a challenging flu season in Australia, I know pharmacy teams will be keen to repeat and build on their successes in 2022/23 to help reduce the risk to individuals and support the wider NHS winter effort.
“The Committee is disappointed that yet again, the increasing costs contractors are experiencing in providing services has not been recognised by NHS England, with an increase in the funding for the service. PSNC will continue to make the case to the NHS for increased funding for the service in future years.”
Further details on the service and guidance
Further information on the service, guidance and resources can be found via our Flu Vaccination Hub page.