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Effectiveness of community pharmacies in improving seasonal influenza uptake—an evaluation using the Donabedian framework

05 Jul 2017

AbstractBackgroundCommunity pharmacies are now commissioned nationally in England to provide a seasonal influenza vaccination service. However, there is little evidence about the effectiveness of a pharmacy-based immunization service in improving uptake.MethodsThe Donabedian framework was used to evaluate a community pharmacy service in the West Midlands from a commissioning perspective. A mixed methods approach was adopted, including provider and patient surveys, data from the national influenza vaccination returns and an electronic pharmacy data recording system.ResultsPatient satisfaction with the service was high. There was no increase in uptake rates. Impact on reaching new patients was limited. The service had an appropriate information system to record activity. Promotion and signposting for the service was weak. Poor engagement with stakeholders led to dissatisfaction and General Practitioner complaints. Commissioners responded to emerging issues to ensure the pharmacies’ set up was compliant with the Service Level Agreement.ConclusionsImprovements in convenience and choice for patients did not result in an increase in uptake rates. With a national pharmacy influenza programme, local arrangements to optimize the service may be limited. Clear arrangements for activity transfer and recording, partnership working and a good communications strategy are crucial in achieving a positive outcome.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Journal of Public Health