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Healthwatch Lancashire share findings of report on access to flu vaccinations in pharmacies

Healthwatch Lancashire has published a report identifying the availability of flu vaccinations within pharmacies across Lancashire in December 2015 and January 2016.   Pharmacy

The report summarises the findings of a mystery shopping activity carried out by 17 Healthwatch Lancashire volunteers and staff who visited 221 pharmacies and asked about the availability of the vaccinations and how information is shared with GP practices.

The findings of the pharmacy mystery shopping activity highlighted variability in the availability of the 2015/16 flu vaccination service by community pharmacies with 38% of pharmacies in Lancashire stating that the flu vaccination was not available.

The report also highlighted the need for a more consistent approach to informing GPs when flu vaccinations have been given by a community pharmacist with 15% of pharmacies saying that they will not inform a person’s GP when they have the flu vaccination.

NHS England responded to the report thanking Healthwatch Lancashire for undertaking the project and informing that the findings will be used by the Local Pharmacy Network to learn lessons and improve this service for patients in the future.

Sheralee Turner-Birchall, Healthwatch Lancashire’s Chief Officer, stated “Healthwatch Lancashire would like to thank NHS England for their positive response to our mystery shopping report and for stating that they intend to engage with local pharmacists to improve patient experience and access to the flu vaccination programme.”

The Healthwatch Lancashire Availability of Flu Vaccinations in Lancashire’s Community Pharmacies report is available to read or download by visiting www.healthwatchlancashire.co.uk/reports