Seasonal Flu Vaccination 2019/20

Flu season is about to begin and increasing uptake of the vaccine among eligible patient cohorts is a priority for Public Health England and NHS England. An overview of the 2019/20 programme including rationale, recommended vaccines and national targets (based on World Health Organisation recommendations) can be found here.

As a minimum practices are required to offer the vaccine under additional services included in the core primary care contract (GMS, PMS and APMS) but activity based payments designed to improve uptake of the vaccine are included in NHSE enhanced service specifications for adults and children.

Additionally, the CCG has issued a contract variation to the Clinical, Commissioning and Engagement Contract to incentivise practices to adopt specific best practice administrative measures to increase uptake among eligible cohorts. The specification is downloadable at the bottom of this page.

This year also sees increased interest in increasing uptake from the East London Health and Care Partnership (ELHCP – NEL STP) who have set out the following priorities for 2019/20:

·         To increase vaccination uptake rates in clinical ‘at risk’ groups (6 months to 64 years) to 50% - See right hand side of page for letter templates for inviting clinical ‘at risk’ groups, an associated resource pack produced by NHS England, and some information for screens in your waiting areas

·         To increase vaccination uptake rates of >65s in London to 2018/19 national level of 71.3%

·         To increase vaccination uptake rates of pregnant women to 2018/19 national level of 45%

·         To increase delivery of child ‘flu vaccination services across all primary school year groups and increase uptake to >50%

·         To attain 50% national standard for age 2 and age 3 child ‘flu vaccinations in general practice

·         To increase uptake amongst frontline health care workers to 80% including primary care staff

Other services offering the vaccine

As in previous years’ flu vaccines are being offered to adults by Community Pharmacy, to pregnant women by immunisation nurses in obstetric scan departments at HUHFT and other hospitals, and for school aged children at school by Vaccination UK.

Practice staff should be aware of these alternatives in order to signpost patients who are unable to make it to the practice or in the event that supplies of the vaccine are low due to staggered deliveries. Practices should also collaborate with other practices within their PCN to limit the impact of vaccine shortages in the event that deliveries are delayed.

A list of community pharmacies in your PCN area and a lead pharmacy contact for your PCN is available at the bottom of this page.

Notification and Data Quality

In previous years’ practices have reported inconsistency in notification of vaccination from alternative providers, particularly community pharmacy. This should improve this year as Sonar have been working with EMIS to develop the capability to send notification directly into your workflow. This is due to be enabled by EMIS in October 2019 prior to which you should continue to receive notification to your practice generic email account. The CCG is in communication with Sonar to ensure that they have the correct generic email for sending notification by email as a backup should the auto-notification fail.

The CCG is also in communication with HUHFT in an effort to enable electronic notification direct into your EMIS workflow from immunisation nurses at the hospital but will confirm.

Practices should ensure that any notification of vaccination is coded properly to ensure that uptake data is accurate. Details of changes to flu codes were circulated to practices by the ELHCP primary care team and the CCG in the week commencing 23rd September but can also be found here.

Uptake of the flu vaccine will be monitored through ImmForm data which is auto-extracted from your EMIS system at regular intervals throughout the season. Your EMIS system should already be configured to enable this extraction but if not please contact EMIS support or Raymond Berry.

Promoting the service to patients and additional resources

Public Health England produce a wide range of promotional material which can be download or ordered in hardcopy. These resources including posters, patient leaflets and social media materials can be found here.

Numerous resources including rationale for the campaign, best practice guides and letter templates for inviting patients for their vaccine can also be found on the Annual Flu Programme homepage.

If you have any questions about the information above please contact Thomas Clark.