This year has been an amazing success for community pharmacists delivering flu vaccinations. With over 1 million vaccinations administered by nearly 9,400 contractors, that’s over 100 per pharmacy!
Whether you are an early trailblazer, or struggling to get the numbers, there are always things you can try to grow your business further. Here are some top tips for taking your success to the next level.
1. Review what you had originally planned to do. We often start by giving this a lot of thought and make plans for how we were going to get the most from the flu campaign. Then things get extremely busy and we switch from being proactive to being reactive. So take some time to reflect and get yourself back on track.
2. Find out what your GP Practice is doing. If they have now finished their flu clinics this is a great opportunity to get them to refer patients to you. If you’ve built that relationship early on then this is when it will really help.
3. Take advantage of the updated PGD and Service Specifications for NHS flu vaccinations. The NHS risk groups have been extended to include professional carers, so this will include those who work in care homes or make domiciliary visits. If you service a care home, this will save them the cost so make sure you let them know and agree how they will release staff to come to you for their vaccination.
4. Are you starting to see more acute prescriptions for inhalers? As the cold weather starts to bite, your respiratory patients will find their symptoms worsening, so now is a good time to remind them why it’s so important for them to protect themselves from flu.
5. Target your pregnant customers. This has always been a group that the NHS struggles to vaccinate in numbers, but as pharmacists you will see them on a regular basis. Pregnant women may understandably be concerned about receiving a vaccination because of the perceived harm to their baby, so take the time to explain why it is so important to get vaccinated for the protection of their baby, and quote trusted sources such as mumsnet.com which also encourages pregnant women to have a flu vaccination.
6. Think ahead to what’s next after flu vaccinations. The NHS is making recommendations to de-prescribe many treatments and amongst them are travel vaccinations. You already have the skills and competence to vaccinate with confidence, so get yourself prepared for this opportunity to offer a private service by increasing your knowledge. Our partners at Valneva have a FREE comprehensive training portal so why not register now and get started so you’re ready for when the flu season is over.
We hope you find these tips helpful, but there’s nothing like learning from all the fantastic pharmacists who have vaccinated over a million patients this year, so do please share your favourite top tips in the comments!
Written by Nitin Makadia (on behalf of ECG) 21st November 2017