"I visited a local pharmacy in Andover to learn about the Flu Vaccination service available and learned more about how pharmacies play a key role in today's NHS"
"During my visit, Yen Lam inoculated me against flu, for which I am very grateful"
This year 173 pharmacies across Wessex have been commissioned by Public Health and NHS England (Wessex) teams to provide a Pharmacy Seasonal Influenza Immunisation Enhanced Service. A flu vaccination service is available from GP surgeries, but the addition of community pharmacies to the list of NHS providers enables eligible patients to exercise their own choice on where to have their vaccination.
Pharmacies are taking part in the service with the aim of ensuring that adults between the ages of 18yrs and 64yrs who are in an ‘at risk’ group are offered the vaccine. There is a particular emphasis on pregnant women.
Sir George said: “While for most people flu is simply an unpleasant illness, for others it can be more serious and it is therefore important that people take steps to keep themselves well and protect themselves from flu. Certain people can develop serious complications such as pneumonia and it is particularly important that pregnant women do not put off having their free flu jab”.
“I would therefore encourage anyone who is thinking about getting themselves vaccinated this year to visit their GP or local pharmacy and ask about the options available. If you do not qualify under the NHS scheme provided at pharmacies you may still be eligible for vaccination at your local GP surgery, for example if you are over 65 years old. Even if you don’t qualify for an NHS vaccination you might still be able to have a jab privately by visiting a pharmacy that provides the service.”
Paul Bennett Chief Officer, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Local Pharmaceutical Committee said; “At a time when our GP colleagues are under increasing pressure, and as we approach the winter season when traditionally the NHS faces a particular challenge, especially in urgent and emergency care provision, this is just one example of how community pharmacy can play its part to ease the burden on the NHS”.
“We are very grateful to Sir George for taking the time to visit one of his local pharmacies and for taking a real interest in the winter flu service and to hear about the other services that community pharmacy can offer to help people stay healthy, in partnership with GP's. Community pharmacy is a valuable, often underutilised, part of the primary care health team and is the most accessible of all healthcare services”.
Notes to editors
The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) is the local representative committee for community pharmacies across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Please visit the website at www.hampshirelpc.org.uk for more information on the committee and its work.
Local Pharmaceutical Committees (LPCs) represent all NHS pharmacy contractors in a defined locality. LPCs are recognised by local NHS primary care organisations and are consulted on local matters affecting pharmacy contractors.
The Wessex wide Pharmacy Seasonal Influenza Immunisation Enhanced Service is focussed on patients in the ‘at risk groups. These are;
Pregnant women at any stage of their pregnancy
All those aged over 18 years and below 65 years, with one or more of the following medical conditions:
Chronic respiratory disease e.g. asthma
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Chronic heart disease
Chronic kidney disease
Chronic liver disease
For further information please contact Paul Bennett, firstname.lastname@example.org 07818094107