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Risk alert: Advice on administering flu vaccinations

Post date: 17/10/2016 | Time to read article: 2 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 15/03/2019

Several members have contacted us with queries regarding flu vaccinations; primarily which practice colleagues can administer these, and what safeguarding should be in place if so.

All practice staff, including healthcare assistants (HCAs), receptionists and dispensers can be delegated responsibility to administer flu vaccinations - as long as the practice and delegating clinician are able to demonstrate that the person who is delegated the task is adequately trained and supervised.

Key points for GPs and practices

  • While there is no definitive list of tasks that a HCA can undertake, it is the responsibility of the delegating clinician to ensure HCAs are adequately trained, skilled and supervised in administering vaccinations.
  • To administer vaccinations, HCAs must have Patient Specific Directions (PSDs) in place. A PSD is a written instruction from a qualified and registered prescriber for a medicine -including the dose, route and frequency - to be administered to a named patient. In practical terms, the PSD may be attached to a list of patients signed by the GP or independent prescriber and the HCA.
  • Therefore to administer vaccinations, HCAs must have the above signed authorisation to do so. The HCA must also complete the vaccination record sheet that details the patient name, date of birth, vaccine given, dose, batch number and expiry; this is a legal requirement under the Medicines Act (1968).
  • While Patient Group Directions (PGDs) allow certain healthcare professionals, such as practice nurses to supply medicines to a specified group of patients, HCAs are not covered by this.
Any person delegated the responsibility for administering flu vaccines should follow Medical Protection’s guidance.

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