How our practice delivered a successful flu campaign

A simple flu recall letter and a streamlined admin process helped a practice in Surrey achieve high flu vaccine uptake and provide a brief health check for patients.

Dr Klaus Green
Dr Klaus Green

The Mill Medical Practice in Godalming, Surrey achieved a 79% take-up of flu vaccination among the over 65s and 53% among 2- to 4-year-old children, some of the best results in its CCG. GP partner Dr Klaus Green attributes the practice's success to an innovative approach to the process and Docmail – a hybrid mail service.

CFH Docmail

CFH Docmail is the leading hybrid mail service which allows GPs to securely print, enclose and mail flu recall letters for less than the price of a second class stamp. It is used by over 3,000 GPs in the UK to save admin time and money.
Click here for more details.

This article was funded by CFH Docmail for GP Connect

Dr Green explains: ‘We started refining our approach four years ago. We began to use the EMIS search tools to cross-check patients and establish lists of patients with the same vaccination requirements, for example those that only need a flu vaccination and those that need a "once only" pneumococcal vaccination. We also look at patients eligible for Zostavax, and ended up with four different lists to which we can tailor our messages.

'The letters are personally addressed to each patient giving them information about why they need to attend and timings.

'All the lists and the letter copy are set up on Docmail and the system prints, stuffs and delivers the letters. All we do is press the buttons.

'We invite patients to attend a one-off flu clinic, which is held on a Saturday morning. Time slots are allocated in blocks according to surname. It is all very streamlined, with patients entering through the front entrance and then leaving by the back door.

'The patient letter is not only the prompt to attend but it is also the administration document and includes everything we need for the process, which means that we don’t have to do any computer look-ups or cross checks on the day.

'Once the patient has been vaccinated, the letter they hand in is stickered with the relevant batch numbers. We also use the opportunity to check the patient’s smoking status and their blood pressure which is noted on the same document.

'On the Monday morning we record all the information on our system using an EMIS protocol and confirm uptake figures.

'This year 15 staff at our flu clinic vaccinated 2,100 patients in one morning. Using Docmail each invitation costs less than a second class stamp, and we meet our contractual requirement to have a robust call and recall service for the clinic.

'As well as good medicine, it’s also a good opportunity for teamwork within the practice as we pull together to deliver a service that the patients appreciate.'

Download: Infographic showing how Mill Medical Practice increased flu vaccination uptake

Download: Infographic showing the benefits of having a flu jab

Top tips for flu campaigns

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