"Influenza vaccination"

About: The Gainsborough Practice

(as a relative),

My father was not informed by his GP practice when the flu clinics were being held despite his age of 90 yrs. He has had to phone the surgery only to find out that there are no appointments available for 4 weeks. As the elderly are a priority for this vaccination I consider the GP surgery should be offering this early to all their pts eligible especially those that are House bound or unable to get out to the surgery. As a basic primary health initiative vaccinations each year for influenza could be better organised in my opinion in order to avoid hospital admissions for those vulnerable groups.

More about:


Response from The Gainsborough Practice 2 years ago
The Gainsborough Practice
Submitted on 10/10/2018 at 14:33
Published on nhs.uk at 15:06

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your feedback However, I am disappointed that you chose to post these comments anonymously and did not contact me or your fathers registered GP as we could have eased your concerns at the time.

Children and adults with underlying health conditions such as long-term heart or respiratory disease, children and adults with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and anyone aged 65 and over are all our priority for the flu vaccination.

We have encouraged these patents to have their annual flu vaccination by sending them a SMS message inviting them to contact the practice to book an appointment. We have also informed patients of our flu clinic dates by putting posters up in our waiting area, advertising on our website and in our practice newsletter. A message has been added to the right- hand side of repeat prescriptions encouraging patients to book for their flu jab. Our reception team are actively encouraging patients to book appointments and our clinicians are vaccinating patients opportunistically when they present at the practice. Our GPs are vaccinating patients when they do home visits and arrangements have been made for the district nursing team to visit all our housebound patients. I am therefore sorry that despite our best endeavours your father was unaware of our flu clinics.

In line with NHS England guidelines, for patients aged 65 and over, the new adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine is being given as this provides the best protection for this age group against flu. There is unfortunately only one manufacturer supplying the whole UK so, along with all the other GP surgeries, our ordering has been restricted and we have had little control over the delivery dates. As soon as we know we are getting a delivery we are adding more clinics.

As mentioned on the NHS website the best time to have a flu vaccine is in the Autumn, from the beginning of October to end of November and that is when we are intending to vaccinate our patients. We held a flu clinic on Saturday 6th October and at the time of your post there were free appointments that your father could have attended. There were also appointments at that time available for him on Saturday 13th October, Thursday 1st November and Thursday 8th November.

I am therefore disappointed if these appointments were not offered to your father and apologise sincerely.

Kind regards

Diana Lock – Practice Manager

  • Melouise thinks this response is helpful
    {{helpful-1}} other {{helpful-1 == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} so too

Update posted by Melouise (a relative)

Thanks for your response Diana. My father never received any text messages from the surgery. He has not seen a GP there for months so would not have seen your posters in the surgery. You cannot assume all the elderly have mobile phones and are able to text if they do have one. Also that they can access surgery websites ( my father does not ). I suggest you review your methods of contacting your elderly clients regarding these clinics in future. I did ring the surgery for an appointment and was told 1st November was the earliest available. I was also told to try chemists to see if they could do my father’s vaccination. I rang 2 chemists but both were booked up with appointments until late November and had also run out of the vaccine. I was not told my father could have a flu injection at home or that he could book a GP appointment for one. My concern is that some elderly patients who do not attend the surgery regularly or are able to book appointments, access mobile phones etc could well miss out on these vaccinations unless a suitable and reliable method of contacting them is found. A phone message on the landline phone maybe more appropriate for the elderly without mobile phones ?


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