Unlike in England, highly qualified pharmacists are unable to administer flu vaccinations for the NHS – despite being well able to do so. This means that Scotland’s GP services are coming under ever-greater pressure in their battle to balance a whole range of services.
This has prompted Community Pharmacy Scotland clinicians to take to the Scottish Parliament to explain to MSPs just how easily they could help.
Commenting, Mark said:
“I was pleased to meet with representatives from Community Pharmacy Scotland to find out more about the fantastic work they do.
“It is important that primary care teams are utilised in the widest possible sense, which means community pharmacists are empowered to give NHS flu jabs which reduces workloads for GP surgeries.
“Community pharmacists are ready, willing and able to support the annual flu vaccine programme which ensures that the population is protected and I hope that a solution can be found to enable them to do that.”
Harry McQuillan, CEO of Community Pharmacy Scotland said:
“Last year the number of people suffering flu doubled from the previous year. Our vaccination rates fall well below World Health Organisation targets, and we’ve never managed to vaccinate more than 61% of ‘at risk’ adults under the age of 65.
“Meanwhile we have a network of 1250 pharmacies staffed by qualified clinicians throughout our communities, often open six days a week. We need the required change in legislation to allow us to come into line with England, where pharmacists delivered 1.17 million flu vaccinations between September and January last winter.”