Published 8 August 2019
This enhanced service requires GPs to vaccinate vulnerable groups of patients and certain health and social care staff.
At a typical practice of 5,000 patients, achieving 100% coverage of all target patients would provide an annual income of approximately £10,000.
This directed enhanced service requires GPs to vaccinate those aged 65 years and over, pregnant women, patients aged six months up to 65 years who are considered ‘at risk’, carers and locum GPs.
GP practices are also contracted separately to vaccinate two- and three-year-olds under the childhood flu vaccination enhanced service.
The 2018/19 seasonal influenza campaign was the most complicated to date, with the over-65s age group given the adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (aTIV), at-risk infants aged 6-months to 2 years and 18-65s at-risk a quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIVe), with the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) recommended in all 2-18-year-olds unless contraindicated.
For 2019/20 NHS England has announced that another new quadrivalent vaccine – QIVc – can now be used in all eligible patients aged nine upwards.
Vaccine ordering varies. It is possible to submit orders a year ahead but the changes for 2018/19 caught some practices out.
The fee for administering a seasonal influenza vaccine is £10.06. The vaccine needs to be pre-ordered directly from the pharmaceutical company – this means practices can cut their costs if they negotiate decent discounts. This involves liaising with drugs reps as early as January for the following winter. Bulk buying can attract discounts and there are buyer groups, such as those run by LMCs, which can help.
The vaccine reimbursement is claimed back from NHS prescription services (NHS Business Services Authority). With careful negotiation and swift claiming it is possible to get the reimbursement before paying the original invoice.
Practices must be signed up as delivering the service or ‘accepting a quality service’ on CQRS (Calculating Quality Reporting System) in order for payments to be made. These data are extracted via GPES (General Practice Extraction Service) run by NHS Digital.
Payments will be made monthly. Check the Open Exeter statement every month to ensure all the claims made correspond to monies received and make sure that any errors are chased up swiftly. Any problems should be addressed initially with the commissioner (which is the CCG if delegated co-commissioning or NHS England otherwise), and CQRS and GPES errors can also be pursued via NHS Digital.
Dr John Allingham is medical secretary at Kent LMC
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