GP practices can claim payment for flu vaccines given to frontline staff members provided they are eligible for the jab on the NHS and are also a registered patient at their employing practice, NHS England has clarified.
Earlier this month, NHS England said that practices will not be reimbursed for administering flu vaccinations to staff, despite being obliged to offer it under occupational health duties.
However, additional guidance released earlier this week has now explained there are exceptions.
Where patient-facing staff also fall within the cohorts eligible for a free NHS jab, for example, due to age or clinical risk AND they are a registered patient at their employing practice, surgeries can claim for reimbursement of the flu vaccine cost and an item of service payment.
In an update to the flu programme enhanced service 2022/23, NHS England said: ‘Where eligible frontline patient-facing staff are administered a flu vaccination by their employing practice, the practice will not be eligible for reimbursement of the flu vaccine cost nor an item of service payment.
‘This is with the exception of where the eligible frontline patient-facing staff member is eligible under the NHS flu programme due to age or clinical risk AND is a registered patient at their employing practice.’
It added: ‘A practice must not claim reimbursement for an eligible registered frontline patient-facing staff member if they do not also fall within an additional eligible cohort under the NHS flu programme.’
Locum GPs remain eligible for an NHS jab from any practice, regardless of whether they are registered at the practice or not. Practices can be reimbursed for this, according to the 2022/23 Enhanced Service Specification for the flu vaccination programme.
Last year, in an unusual move, practices were able to claim for vaccinating all their primary care staff. This was regardless of whether the staff member was registered with the practice as a patient. However, that offer has not been extended this year.
The BMA has previously said it had ‘serious concerns’ about practice staff not being included in the eligible cohorts for a free vaccine.
Meanwhile, practices who are taking part in the seasonal influenza and childhood seasonal Influenza enhanced services are required to confirm participation within the Calculating Quality Reporting Service by 30 September.
Read how practices can maximise their income from flu vaccination.
Those eligible for free flu vaccination
- all children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2022
- all primary school aged children (from reception to Year 6)
- secondary school children in years 7, 8 and 9, with any remaining vaccine offered to Years 10 and 11
- those aged 6 months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups
- pregnant women
- those aged 50 years and over
- those in long-stay residential care homes or nursing homes
- close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
- locum GPs
- frontline staff and social care staff in certain types of social care providers without employer led occupational health schemes.