Quality statement 1: Invitation for vaccination

Quality statement

Providers use a range of different methods to invite people in eligible groups for flu vaccination.

Rationale

Invitations for flu vaccination are more effective when a range of different methods are used to suit people's needs. Initial invitations and reminders for overdue vaccinations can be in writing (letter, email or text message), by phone or social media, and during face-to-face interactions if the opportunity arises, or using a combination of methods to maximise vaccine uptake. The person's eligible group and any other demographic information should be taken into account when determining the most suitable type of invitation. Follow-up invitations in a different format to the initial invitation can help to prompt people who are eligible for vaccination but have not yet taken up the offer.

Quality measures

Structure

a) Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that providers have systems in place to invite people in eligible groups for flu vaccination using a range of different methods.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, service level agreements.

b) Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that providers have systems in place to identify eligible groups when inviting them for flu vaccination.

Data source: Local data collection, for example, service level agreements.

Outcome

Flu vaccine uptake in eligible groups.

Data source: Public Health England Seasonal flu vaccine uptake in GP patients annual data.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Service providers (GP practices, primary care services) have systems in place to enable staff to identify people who are eligible for flu vaccination. They ensure that staff are aware of the different methods they can use to invite people for flu vaccination, for example, by writing (letter, email or text message), by phone, through social media or through a combination of methods. Providers deliver training for staff on how to use methods where appropriate and have clear messages on what combination of methods will be most effective.

Healthcare practitioners (such as practice nurses, midwives, doctors, GP support staff, pharmacists and health visitors) invite people who are eligible for flu vaccination by writing (letter, email or text message), by phone, through social media or through a combination of methods. They take in to account a person's eligible group and any other demographic information available when considering the invitation method.

Commissioners (NHS England) monitor whether the services they commission have systems in place to use a range of methods to invite people who are eligible for flu vaccination. They share best practice between providers where appropriate.

People who should have the flu vaccine receive invitations to attend for vaccination in a way that suits them. This may be by letter, email, text message, phone call, through social media or through a combination of these methods.

Source guidance

Flu vaccination: increasing uptake (2018) NICE guideline NG103, recommendations 1.4.1 and 1.4.4

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Eligible groups

People who are eligible for flu vaccination in the NHS, as outlined in Public Health England's Immunisation against infectious disease (known as the 'Green Book') and the National flu immunisation programme annual flu letter. For this quality standard, the eligible groups are:

  • children and adults aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group (as listed in the annual flu letter)

  • children and adults aged 6 months to 64 years in long-stay residential care homes

  • pregnant women

  • people receiving carer's allowance

  • close contacts of immunocompromised people

  • the main informal carer of an older adult or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill

  • children and young people aged 2 to 17 years who are not in a clinical risk group (as part of the ongoing phased roll-out of the flu vaccination programme for this age group).

[Adapted from NICE's guideline on flu vaccination: increasing uptake and Public Health England's Green Book, chapter 19: Influenza]

Range of different methods

Methods including written reminders (such as text messages, letters and email), phone calls from staff or an auto dialler, social media, or any combination of these methods.

[Adapted from NICE's guideline on flu vaccination: increasing uptake, recommendation 1.4.4]

Equality and diversity considerations

Healthcare professionals should consider the literacy levels and the preferred language of people they are inviting for vaccination. Information should be culturally appropriate, and in some cases, a phone call may be preferable to a letter or text message.

There are some groups that are under-served by flu vaccination programmes such as:

  • people who are homeless or sleep rough

  • people who misuse substances

  • asylum seekers

  • Gypsy, Traveller and Roma people

  • people with learning disabilities

  • young people leaving long-term care.

Consideration needs to be given to the best methods to invite people from these groups for flu vaccination and how best to enable their access to vaccination services.

For people with additional needs related to a disability, impairment or sensory loss, information should be provided as set out in NHS England's Accessible Information Standard.