High demand for pharmacy-run flu jab centre in Preston

Latest

High demand for pharmacy-run flu jab centre in Preston

In Latest

Exclusive: A community pharmacy run, offsite flu vaccination centre has proved popular with patients after kicking off its 14-day run in Preston last Monday.

The Lancashire Vaccination Centre (LVC), staffed by pharmacists, ran at around capacity – around 750 vaccinations a day across four consultation rooms – for the first three days of its operation at the Preston Grasshoppers rugby ground on the outskirts of Preston. Demand has eased slightly but remains strong and is expected to continue to be so until it closes on October 11.

“Ninety three per cent of patients have given us 10 out of 10 (96 per cent for nine or more) and written feedback has been phenomenal,” said Gavin Birchall, managing director of brand consultancy DOSE Group, and development lead for the centre. “They feel very Covid-safe and secure. It’s very fast, it’s efficient and it’s clinical. In the last few days we’ve had quite a few people say ‘a GP referred me here’ which is pretty exciting.”

Mike Ball, service lead at the LVC and superintendent pharmacist at Broadway Pharmacy, which is half a mile from the ground, says that when Covid kicked off, and pharmacy became the only fully accessible part of primary care, they moved to extended hours seven days a week and haven’t closed a day since.

“I was genuinely concerned, even though we are a big flu player [Broadway Pharmacy is usually in the top two or three pharmacy providers in England], how the local population were going to get a flu jab this year... Preston is a densely populated area.

"So Gavin and I got our thinking caps on. There were lots of discussions about how they might allow off-site vaccinations this year; that's when it was born.”

Mike Ball has known the rugby club since he was six years old and, having gone through the playing system, is now coaching his son’s year group. “They’re great facilities and incredibly accessible, just half a mile from a major junction of the M6. It’s also less than half a mile from our pharmacy.”

Gavin Birchall adds: “It has enough space for parking, but also inside the building to create a Covid-safe space and a one way route through for patients. We created a patient flowthrough where they don't touch anything at any point. There are no doors. Everything curves round for privacy. There are no leaflets, everything is confirmed electronically,”

Vaccinations are administered in large consultation rooms (approximately five metres by four); the unit was assembled in eight hours and will take eight hours to take down at the end of the fortnight. The pair reckon they can be ready to go again in four to six weeks time if the 50-64 cohort is activated, and have plans for a unit double the size if the country moves to mass vaccination for Covid in 2021.

With regard to the name of the initiative, Gavin Birchall says they chose early on not to use the word 'pharmacy'. “Patients don't care, they just want a great service.

"Our reception team say ‘the pharmacist will call you into the room’, so they know there is a pharmacist behind everything. The branding was designed to give the feeling of an officially run and premium service.”

With no NHS referrals, the awareness has been created by the team, and a fully integrated marketing campaign, using both local press and radio. “There can’t be many people in Lancashire who don’t know about it,” Gavin Birchall says.

“This first week has gone beyond our expectations,” says Mike Ball. “We're delighted with the numbers that have come through LVC, but more impressive has been the team’s desire to make this a success. It was a bold move, but to see that feedback come through goes beyond money.”

Record my learning outcomes

Latest

Inspiring stories related to health, fitness and the pursuit of wellbeing

Share:

More like this

bookmark_icon_off
Latest

Claire Anderson elected new president of the RPS

Claire Anderson was today (July 13) elected president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, replacing Sandra Gidley who stands down after two years.

1 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
Latest

Almost 400 pharmacists leave profession amid funding pressures

Nearly 400 community pharmacists in Northern Ireland have left the profession in the last two years according to a survey.

1 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
Latest

DHSC extends serious shortage protocols for Fluoxetine

The Department of Health and Social Care has extended serious shortage protocols for Fluoxetine.

1 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
Latest

NHS productivity grows faster than wider economy

A study has shown that the productivity of the NHS has improved almost two and a half times as fast than the wider economy over the last 12 years

1 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
Latest

Mental health inequality mirrors economic gaps

The final report of the Commission for Equality in Mental Health has found that mental health inequalities mirror wider economic and social inequalities. 

1 Min Article

bookmark_icon_off
Latest

Pandemic delivery service to continue until July 31

The community pharmacy pandemic delivery service is to continue until the end of the month, NHS England & Improvement has confirmed.

1 Min Article

Recommended Learning

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Fungal Nail Roundup

Complete this short interactive module to refresh your knowledge on identifying and treating fungal nail infections, and discover more about a product you can recommend to customers.

5 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Oral rehydration: a pharmacy guide

Understand the important role oral rehydration products play in helping prevent dehydration after illness

5 Min Module

Sponsored education

Supporting women in their contraceptive choices

Upgrade your contraceptive consultations by exploring the interactive pack to learn about a daily oral contraceptive pill

8 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Advising customers of a unique formulation for a blocked and runny nose from colds

Understand the differences between topical medication for nasal symptoms of the common cold, and topical medication for ongoing nasal problems

24 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Managing fever in children

Get to grips with the current guidance on managing fever in children and how antipyretics can help, and discover products you can recommend.

10 Min Module

bookmark_icon_off
Sponsored education

Pain conversations - making effective recommendations

Explore our detailed case studies to help understand how to advise customers on different causes of pain.

15 Min Module