Immunisation Horizon Scanning Volume 6 Issue 1

February 4, 2014
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Patients at risk as flu vaccine uptake drops to three-year low

February 4, 2014

Source: GP Online

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Date of publication: January 2014

Publication Type: News

In a nutshell: The NHS is set to miss important flu vaccination targets this winter as uptake falls to its lowest point in three years, leaving thousands of vulnerable patients at risk in the event of a flu outbreak.

Length of publication: 1-page news story


“It’s easier in pharmacy”: why some patients prefer to pay for flu jabs rather than use the National Health Service

February 4, 2014

Source: BMC Health Services Research

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Date of publication: January 2014

Publication Type: Article

In a nutshell: While people at risk can access flu vaccinations free via the NHS, some choose to pay privately because they perceive that community pharmacy access is easier. There are opportunities for pharmacy to support the NHS in delivering free flu vaccinations to patients at risk by targeting people unlikely to access the service at GP surgeries.

Length of publication: 6-page article


Getting behind the Curve? Is the new NHS ready for Pandemic Flu?

February 4, 2014

Source: Centre for Health and the Public Interest (CHPI)

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Date of publication: 2013

Publication Type: Report

In a nutshell: The report finds that in a major pandemic the newly reorganised NHS  in England is likely to face extra challenges. In part, this is an inevitable consequence of the disruption caused by such a major re-organisation. In a pandemic, when there will need to be clear lines of communication and responsibility, with the centre having capacity to direct personnel and healthcare resources towards areas of greatest need, there is instead fragmentation and a lack of clarity within the newly-created organisational structures about who does what and how the system is co-ordinated. The potential problems stretch from the top, with an ill-defined role expected of the Chief Medical Officer, through confusing multiple and parallel structures embracing the NHS, Public Health England and local government, right down to the front line with its increasing number of private providers.

Length of publication: 24-page report


England’s public health reorganisation could hamper response to a flu pandemic, report says

February 4, 2014

Source: BMJ, 2014;348:g43

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Date of publication: January 2014

Publication Type: News

In a nutshell: The government’s overhaul of the NHS has left England dangerously unprepared for a flu pandemic, a new report has claimed. The analysis by the Centre for Health and the Public Interest, a health think tank, warns that the coalition government’s restructuring of the NHS in England has led to a fragmented system and a loss of institutional memory that could seriously hamper a response to any potential flu pandemic. Pandemic flu is identified as one of the four highest-priority risks on the government’s national risk register of civil emergencies. But the report warns that changes to the NHS—which included replacing managerial structures across England, moving public health administration from the NHS to local authorities, and expanding the use of the market—would make an emergency response to a pandemic more difficult.

Length of publication: 1-page news story


Further dissemination

February 4, 2014

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