NHS England published the service specifications for this year's flu season on Monday 2nd August (www.ardens.live/flu-2021). COVID booster vaccines are NOT currently part of this specification but guidance may change on this in coming weeks.

Payment will be £10.06 per flu vaccination delivered to an eligible patient. Practices must confirm they wish to take part in this Enhanced Service by 16th August 2021.

Eligible Population

  • All patients aged 50 years and over on 31 Mar 2022.
  • Patients aged 6 months to under 50 years in "clinical risk groups".
  • Children aged 2 and 3 years of age on 31 Aug 2021.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Patients in long-stay residential care homes.
  • Carers.
  • Close contacts of "immunocompromised individuals".
  • Frontline health & social care staff (including Locum GPs)

Ardens Resources
Ardens has already built resources (searches and a protocol) to assist practices with call/recall, data quality checking, vaccine administration, and claims. The searches are being tested this week and will be released early next week.

It is essential that you understand the limitations of our searches:

  1. There is currently no published code-list to define "clinical risk groups" or "immunocompromised individuals". We have spent many hours building a high quality code-list based on The Green Book definition to identify at-risk patients but we know that our searches will differ from the code-list that EMIS will publish as the definitions are open to interpretation.
  2. The EMIS flu vaccine "alert" in the pink alert box advises when a patient is eligible for a flu vaccine. It is based on EMIS Health's interpretation of The Green Book definitions. This reminder will not 100% align with patients identified using the Ardens searches.
  3. This means that some patients will be identified as eligible for flu vaccine by Ardens but not by EMIS, and vice-versa. The solution is to add the "9OX4" code to these patient records where appropriate (this code flags the patient as eligible for flu vaccine in both the Ardens and EMIS searches).

The above problem occurs every year, and every year we receive hundreds of support queries around this. Ideally we would wait until EMIS publish their flu searches and simply align our searches with theirs. We don't do this because historically EMIS has not released flu resources until after flu season has started and many practices require these resources now to plan clinics.

We will be sending an email to all Ardens subscribers and updating our Facebook page as soon as the Ardens searches are available for download from the Ardens Portal.