Friday, 30 September 2016

Prescribing for NHS travel vaccines

This subject feels as if its getting harder and harder to manage and understand!  In the area where I work we have NO patient group directions (PGD) available for any of the NHS travel vaccines and we've been informed that they won't be provided going forward, that we have to use patient specific directions (PSD) for everything we give or get a prescription written up as the other option.

Of course this all has to occur before a traveller is given the vaccine or it would otherwise be illegal practice.  The practicalities of having the patient with you in a consultation and following the travel risk assessment deciding which vaccines are required, means you then have to get the needed vaccines written on prescription or a PSD which could involve waiting some time for a prescriber to become available, resulting in running 'overtime' adding pressure to the clinic.

Other areas of England have PGDs for the NHS travel vaccines, for example NHS England South have them for cholera, typhoid, hepatitis A and Revaxis. NHS England London have a set of PGDs for travel vaccines which expired earlier this year but have an  Authorisation of the continued use of some named NHS England (London Region) Patient Group Directions (PGDs) which include some travel PGDs until the new ones are prepared see here

I see the link to the NHS PGD website has changed and searching on here there is a lot of information about PGDs including an e learning programme which was updated on 26th July 2016 see here  The BMA document for PGDs was also updated in January 2016 see here

So more work to do it understand it all!  If reading this, please just make sure you know the travel vaccines you administer are actually prescribed or authorised for administration (through a PGD or PSD) BEFORE you give them.  See the MHRA website for details as well and the FAQ page on my website for more information.