How GP practices can run a successful flu campaign

How GP practices can run a successful flu campaign

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Now’s the time to make sure your GP practice has sufficiently planned its 2020/21 flu campaign.

With vaccines paid at £10.06 per vaccination, to maximise practice income, it’s important that practice managers plan their campaign early to make sure as many patients as possible are booked in to their GP practice.

As a result of COVID-19, the flu programme has been expanded for 2020/21 and more patients are eligible for a free flu vaccine for the first time this year. It’s important that this is communicated to your patients.

Get the word out as soon as possible

The logistics of running your flu campaign may be difficult due to COVID-19 and may take longer to organise. It’s important that as soon as you have organised where, how and when these clinics will take place, you communicate this to patients.

How to communicate

With footfall in practices down, having banners and leaflets in the waiting room may not be the best way of getting the message to patients.

Teach all demographics. It’s important to have a variety of material; use social media and your website, send text messages, and make telephone calls. Use a reputable mail service to send the invitations to patients.

Encouraging patients

Patients may be concerned about coming to the practice; reassure them of the hygiene and social distancing measures in place.

Many have concerns about getting a flu vaccination. To reassure them, you could issue a Frequently Asked Questions document. Highlight the benefits of a flu vaccination, but don’t scare people into getting vaccinated.

Staff members will need to be informed and knowledgeable about the flu campaign so they can discuss it with patients.

The details

The flu clinic needs to be simple to make sure patients don’t have a reason not to book, and it needs to be accessible. Good feedback from patients will ensure they come again and spread the word. You’ll need to:

  • Consider the best place to carry out the flu vaccines with social distancing.
  • Consider how to organise appointments to make sure you can see a maximum amount of people.
  • Ask patients to wait in their cars rather than the waiting area.
  • Have a clear one-way system and different entrance and exit.

Dealing with the competition 

Patients will be unaware of the effect on their local GP if they get the vaccine somewhere else. Mentioning that getting the vaccine through the practice will support the practice and bring in more income may be a message to share.

You could use your Primary Care Network to work together. Offering a service in a larger location covered by multiple practices may work well. Surrey Health is an example of those using off-site clinics. Others are offering a ‘drive-through’ service.

The Care Quality Commission offers guidance on running an off-site clinic here.

Finally, don’t let all this hard work of organising a successful flu clinic go to waste. Make sure patients’ details are updated on your clinical system and claims are correctly made, maximising funding for the practice.

Need help?

For more information please get in touch with a member of our Medical team. You can find contact details on the Our People section of the Larking Gowen website. Alternatively, call 0330 024 0888 or email

Catherine Heinen


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