Tips for running a successful flu clinic

Published 3 August 2020

1. Book patients at designated intervals. For COVID-19 safety this may need to be 3-4 minutes to allow for PPE use and patient separation.

2. Ensure bookings are matched to delivery dates and order as much vaccine as you can fit in the vaccine fridge.

3. Make sure all staff are alert to the different vaccines and who gets which one.

4. Use the clinics to opportunistically offer shingles and pneumococcal vaccines to target patients.

5. Book patients en masse rather than with individual clinicians, as a ‘next-please’ approach ensures DNAs do not leave gaps.

6. Use every clinician and clinical room that can be safely available.

7. If you have a big enough meeting room or waiting room, set up tables and chairs around the edge and vaccinate multiple patients at the same time.

8. Don’t turn the computers on in the clinical rooms. This gives an excuse for not dealing with the ‘while I am here’ opportunists.

9. Nurses can vaccinate using patient group directions. This allows a group of patients with shared characteristics to be immunised. Healthcare assistants must operate from patient specific directions (PSD) whereby the patient must be named by the GP. It is possible to print the entire clinic list onto a PSD to save complications.

10. Preserve the cold chain. Nominate a runner to collect vaccine from the fridge to ensure clinicians are not over-supplied and the cold chain broken.

11. Record vaccinations on simple proforma slips, which can be collected in batches and entered onto practice systems by back room staff as the clinic is going on.

12. Put a confident member of the admin team in the waiting room to gently, but firmly, direct the flow of patients.

13. Have a system for quickly booking patients in. For example, several staff on the desk to handle different sections of the alphabet, with clear signs (names from A-G).

14. Consider putting someone in a high-visibility jacket in the car park (if you are lucky enough to have one) to keep the cars flowing in and out sensibly.

15. Pay the staff overtime. They are worth it. This is a good money spinner and they will want to do it again next year.

16. Factor in a team tea break and send someone out for bacon rolls or bring cakes and biscuits. This is a great opportunity for team building.

17. GPs should consider participating in flu clinics; it earns the respect of their staff and demonstrates good leadership.

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