The Importance of Flu Jab Training for Locums
In September 2015 eligible community pharmacies were nationally commissioned for the first time to deliver the annual NHS flu vaccination service to patients that met the NHS criteria to receive the free flu jab.
This year flu jab training is even more important. This service was commissioned as a national advanced service so that any community pharmacy that met the strict criteria could provide the service. Community pharmacy responded to this service with open arms and embraced the new funding stream that gave formal recognition to community pharmacy to do more than simply supply medicines information and advice. Pharmacists underwent flu jab training. This service demonstrates community pharmacy is an important participant in the delivery of healthcare to its local community. In the first year community pharmacists delivered in excess of 595,000 flu vaccinations; and as a result of the success of the service it was recommissioned in 2016/2017, where community pharmacy delivered in excess of 950,000 vaccinations
Since this service was introduced, we know that community pharmacy has suffered a huge blow in its finances through the NHS funding cuts that came in to force early in 2017. This has affected the majority of community pharmacies by reducing their income by 6-12%. Many contractors have reported even higher reductions in income as much as 20%! This is a considerable reduction in income. As an example, if we consider that average locum hourly rates are £21 per hour, then a 20% reduction would equate to reducing locum rates down to £16.80 an hour! Therefore it is understandable why so many community pharmacies are rightly concerned about this huge reduction in income. At this point in time, there are no signs that community pharmacy’s prescription income will be improved any time soon. So realistically this leaves pharmacy contractors with two options:
— Reduce overhead costs, which includes costs of staff and locums
— Increase the volume of other sources of revenue; which can include NHS services such as flu vaccines, and other private sources of income (e.g. private flu vaccine PGDs)
As pharmacy contractors, my business partner and I have taken a view that we will not allow our staff and locums to suffer as a result of the funding cuts, instead we will motivate our team to help us maximise the number of NHS services that we can offer, and, also the number of private services that we can offer from our pharmacy. This, however, means that any pharmacists that we employ must be trained and competent to deliver the services that we offer.
Not only is the above reasoning why it is so important for all pharmacists to have undergone flu jab training, the NHS flu service specification for community pharmacy specifically states that pharmacies that offer the flu vaccination service must offer the service to patients during ALL of their opening hours! What this then means is that if a pharmacy is not able to employ a locum pharmacist that can administer the flu vaccine, then it would be in breach of its NHS contract! Therefore, as a pharmacy contractor, we will only employ locum pharmacists that are flu vaccine trained. As a contractor, we are required to hold copies of the locum pharmacist’s declaration of competence which states when they have undertaken their flu vaccination training.
So what does the flu vaccination training involve?
It is an NHS requirement that all pharmacists that vaccinate under the NHS flu vaccination service receive face-to-face training at least every two years. This is part of the requirement for completing the declaration of competence, which must be completed prior to delivering the NHS service. Whilst this is the minimum requirement, the health protection agency in its recommendations for training suggests annual refresher training is advisable for all vaccinators. We have taken a pragmatic approach to this and recommend that if you have vaccinated less than 30 people in a year then perhaps an online refresher course would be a good idea to support your declaration of competence.
My Locum Choice has teamed up with Rx Advisor to bring you a comprehensive flu jab training course which covers all of the NHS requirements and includes detailed training on all injection techniques, including intramuscular injections, subcutaneous injections, intra-dermal injections and intra-nasal injections. In addition to this, the training also covers basic life support and CPR and management of emergencies with adrenaline. A detailed overview of the NHS service specification and PGD is also covered so that you will be well equipped to hit the ground running after you complete the training.
After delivering the training to thousands of pharmacists over the years we have responded to feedback and we have made things as easy as possible for pharmacists by incorporating online training materials to support the face-to-face training workshop. This allows the workshop session to be only 2-hours long. To add more convenience the 2-hour face to face workshop will be provided in Manchester (16/7/2017), Leicester (6/8/2017) and London (20/8/2017).
Rx Advisor and MLC have been delivering this training since 2015, and the feedback from pharmacists has been excellent. The training is delivered by an experienced pharmacist who actually delivers the NHS flu jab service as well as other private vaccination services, so he can relay his experience during the workshop and provide hints and tips on how best to provide the service.
For those that simply need an annual refresher, we also provide an online refresher course.
Click here to Book your flu jab training.
“The Flu training was very informative and the practical sessions were the most beneficial. In particular, the trainer was brilliant!”
Kassim Kurji (Pharmacist Peterborough)
“I found the course material succinct. For most Pharmacists who’ve offered the service for >3 years, this is a perfect refresher. I like the link to the competency Declaration”.
Naresh Chauhan (Pharmacist Nottingham)
Other useful links: