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National community pharmacy NHS influenza vaccination service in Wales: a primary care mixed methods study

Evans, Andrew, Wood, Fiona and Carter, Ben Richard 2016. National community pharmacy NHS influenza vaccination service in Wales: a primary care mixed methods study. Brtitish Journal of General Practice 66 (645) , e248-e257. 10.3399/bjgp16X684349

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Background Influenza is a significant cause of morbidity and excess mortality, yet vaccine coverage in the UK remains below target. Community pharmacies are increasingly being promoted as an alternative to vaccination by GPs. Aim To explore and verify the factors that influence the relative performance of pharmacies providing NHS influenza vaccinations. Design and setting A mixed methods study utilising qualitative, semi-structured interviews and quantitative analysis of predictors of vaccination numbers in community pharmacies in Wales. Method Interviews were conducted with 16 pharmacists who participated in the Welsh national pharmacy influenza service in 2013–2014. A purposive sampling strategy was used. Qualitative findings were analysed using framework analysis. Potential predictors of vaccination numbers were identified from interviews and a literature review, and included in a multivariable regression model. Results The contribution of community pharmacies towards vaccination in Wales is small. Findings suggest that community pharmacies reach younger at-risk individuals, in whom vaccine uptake is low, in greater proportion than influenza vaccination programmes as a whole. Extended opening hours and urban locations were positively associated with the number of vaccinations given, although pharmacists reported that workload, vaccine costs, unforeseen delays, lack of public awareness, and GPs’ views of the service limited their contribution. Pharmacists, aware of the potential for conflict with GPs, moderated their behaviour to mitigate such risk. Conclusion Before community pharmacies take greater responsibility for delivering healthcare services, obstacles including increasing pharmacist capacity, vaccine procurement, health service delays, managing GP–pharmacy relationships, and improving public awareness must be overcome.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Additional Information: This is an OpenAccess article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (
Publisher: Royal College of General Practitioners
ISSN: 0960-1643
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 17 December 2015
Last Modified: 19 May 2022 08:25

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