During Mike’s visit to Bennetts End Pharmacy in Hemel Hempstead he had his flu vaccination undertaken by pharmacist Kartik. He learned more about the national pharmacy flu vaccination service. The service aims to make it easier than ever to get a flu jab and to increase the number of ‘at risk’ people across England being protected from ill health over the winter months.
Community pharmacy teams in Hertfordshire are offering NHS flu jabs and they are hoping for a record-breaking year. In the 2016-17 flu season, nearly 25,000 people across Hertfordshire chose to have their flu jab administered in a community pharmacy.
Mike Penning MP commented:
“This is an excellent service and so accessible, with no appointments required. It only takes a few minutes and many patients are loyal to their pharmacy, so everyone knows each other quite well, making it an easy experience. The scheme will help protect people from health complications through the winter months by making sure they have their flu jab.”
As part of the NHS Flu Vaccination Service, all adults aged 65 years and over, and those aged 18 years or over and in clinical risk groups, can receive a free of charge NHS flu jab at community pharmacies across Hertfordshire, often without the need for an appointment. People in at-risk groups include pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions including asthma and diabetes. Pharmacists will be administering the same flu jab as those offered by GPs, and patients’ GP practices will be notified that they have been vaccinated.
The NHS Flu Vaccination Service provided by community pharmacists offers people a convenient location in which to be vaccinated, often on a walk-in basis. Patients have been overwhelmingly positive in their feedback on the pharmacy service in the past.
Kartik, local community pharmacist said:
“As a community pharmacist, I am really excited about this year’s Flu Vaccination Service. I have been offering vaccinations and other public health services for several years and my patients have been extremely positive about these. There is so much that community pharmacists and their teams can do to help people with their medicines and their health.
Hertfordshire Pharmacists are trained healthcare professionals and are ideally placed to alleviate the burden on GP practices. People can visit their pharmacist (chemist) for advice on medicines or when they are suffering from common ailments that don't need to be seen by a nurse or doctor, such as coughs, colds, aches, pains and indigestion. Pharmacists can also provide advice on healthy living and offer public health service such as stopping smoking.
Jeanette Edwards, LPC representative said:
“Community pharmacy provision of NHS flu jabs this flu season means that once again many eligible adult patients will have greater access to this service. Many people may choose pharmacy because they are unable to attend GP clinics due to factors such as their work hours and because they can visit pharmacies in a variety of locations and without the need to book an appointment.
Community pharmacists are looking forward to providing the service and we are keen to work with colleagues in general practice to help ensure that as many eligible people as possible are vaccinated this year.”