Following the close of the 2019/20 flu season, we are aware that training and refresher training for community pharmacy teams would normally start to take place, so everyone involved in administering the flu jabs are up-to-date with their training and ready for the new season from September.
Working with Public Health England (PHE) we have received confirmation that their immunisation standards will be amended for the coming season. Anyone who has not previously trained to undertake immunisations must undertake full training before commencing flu vaccination. However, for anyone who has undertaken the vaccinations training before and is due to undertake face-to-face training this year, in the current circumstances online training is the best option, and face-to-face training requirements can be undertaken next year instead.
PHE intend to update the HEE flu e-learning programme (available to all, free of charge at https://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/flu-immunisation/) for the 2020/21 flu season. Those pharmacists who previously received immunisation training/had a role in immunisation in the past can undertake the assessment session before they undertake the whole knowledge session to see if there are gaps in their knowledge where they feel less confident. For those with some familiarity with immunisation, reading through the knowledge sessions should be relatively quick.
Pharmacists can also use the knowledge and skills competency assessment tool (Appendix A in the National minimum standards and core curriculum for immunisation training for registered healthcare practitioners) or similar assessment tools to identify the areas they need further information/training on.
As at 1 September 2020, anyone who is due to undertake annual online refresher training, but has done so within the previous 18 months, does not have to do the training again for the 2020/21 season (although they may do so if they wish). However, they must ensure that they are familiar with the various documents to support the season, including choice of vaccine and contents of the annual flu letter.