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NHS England could face compensation claims over flu service delay

Pharmacy News

NHS England could face compensation claims over flu service delay

NHS England could face compensation claims from pharmacy contractors because of the delay to this year’s flu vaccination programme.

The NPA has written to NHS England saying that its members have a “legal basis on which to seek compensation” should they incur losses due to changes to the start date of the service.

NPA members have, at their own risk, procured stock with a legitimate expectation that the service would be commissioned as normal, the trade body for independents said in a letter to NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard.

Having taken advice from lawyers, the NPA decided to escalate the matter, both to affect the current situation and to send a message about the need for due process in the future.

Chief executive Mark Lyonette said: “NHS England should expect to be held responsible for financial losses incurred – including wasted stock, additional storage costs and additional staffing costs – resulting from the late announcement to delay the NHS flu service.

“The NPA will help our members determine whether they have suffered a loss and have a realistic prospect of a successful claim for compensation.

“Even at this late stage, NHS England could choose to revert to usual practice, in order to maximise the effectiveness of this year’s flu campaign. However, we think it is right to warn them of the possible consequences if they choose not to do so.

“Whilst welcoming the recent concession which allows pre-booked appointments to go ahead, the NPA still maintains that it is a mistake to throw a previously successful NHS scheme into confusion by delaying the start date.”

The NPA had previously pointed out that the eleventh hour change to the start date was highly demotivating for contractors who have proven themselves to be effective at delivering health protecting services. Some of these contractors are already at a financial cliff edge, the organisation warned.

 

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