Influenza in Greater Manchester


What I expected personally
was to find that it might have been people that found
it very difficult to get to the pharmacy
in the community, or the GP practice so I
was expecting perhaps those who had mobility problems
or access to transport but actually that wasn’t
the case at all. We did have one or two
that found it more convenient from the mobility point of view
but the vast majority were actually quite mobile
and young and it had several letters and contacts by text
and on phones to get the flu vaccination and they
hadn’t attended. And the reason for that was they
are busy, they are young, they have young families
and they don’t necessarily see the importance
of looking after themselves. The first thing we had to do
is to ensure that we have people in our clinic
who were trained to give the vaccination and also
we had the vaccine present which means you need access to a
fridge and also that we had consent forms
that we could share between ourselves and primary care. And then it was just a matter
of identifying those who hadn’t had the vaccination
by asking them and offering it with
an explanation as to why it was important. It isn’t as simple as it
might seem …. the systems are quite complex, for example you have to order
the vaccination in quite early on in the year so the pharmacies
when the board of vaccinations in the hospital have often
ordered those for a pre-existing population such as the staff. So you’ve got to order for the
clinics quite early. There’s also some concern
that we might jeopardise GP’s who need to provide
vaccination with regards to their income and pharmacy. But actually what we’ve found
is that number is actually very small and we were definitely
targeting people that were just not turning
up rather than those that would you know
traditionally go to their GP practice anyway. The secret is breaking down
barriers and letting everybody to you know believe
that they can do rather than see the barriers take
them away and show that we can actually all work together.

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