Patients across the UK are to have access to a digital health tool to check whether they are entitled to a flu jab.
The eligibility tracker from Patient Access both enables patients to check their eligibility for a free jab and book an appointment in minutes. If they are not eligible, patients are directed to local pharmacy services for private flu vaccinations.
Those eligible for free vaccinations include all children aged from two years to the end of primary school, people over 65, those with certain long-term conditions, pregnant women and many carers. The eligibility tracker is also available online at patientaccess.com/flu for those who are not registered with a GP practice using an EMIS clinical system.
During the 2018-19 flu season, fewer than half (48%) of people in one or more ‘clinical’ risk group had the flu vaccination – down 3.5%, and well below the government target of 75%.
Dr Sarah Jarvis, a GP in London and clinical director of Patient.info said: “My colleagues across the UK are well aware of how important it is for us to bring all high-risk patients into the surgery for their flu jab – and also how difficult it can be for busy admin staff to cope with people, whether on the phone or at reception, who are confused about eligibility and need guidance.
“This online tool gives clear step-by-step guidance to anyone who is unsure of their status, including advice on where to go for appropriate professional help, whether that is their own GP surgery or a local pharmacist who is qualified to give the flu injection.”