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Saturday 1 October 2016
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GPs offer "flexible service" to facilitate flu vaccine drive

GP practices across the UK are taking measures to ensure that patients who need a flu jab in October will get one, according to the British Medical Association (BMA).

The organisation said many surgeries will open their doors on a Saturday morning to give elderly and at-risk patients the vaccine.

Every October, older patients and those who are at risk of developing complications if they catch flu are offered a vaccination free-of-charge at their local GP practice.

Because of the large numbers of people involved, many surgeries choose to hold dedicated sessions to administer the jabs.

Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA's GP committee, said: "Practices have always provided a flexible service to suit the needs of their patients, which is why year after year GP practices can rise to the challenge and immunise millions of vulnerable people on top of their routine work.

"GPs will and should be able to choose to operate in a way that works best for their own patients. I would urge all patients who are eligible to get a flu jab to contact their local practice, attend the special sessions their practice has planned, and make sure they get protected."

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Take part in our online practice manager opinion survey!

Are you prepared for flu season? Will your surgery be opening longer? Please supply your comment, name and location in the feedback box below. Your details will not be published if you so request. (Terms and conditions apply)"We have done Saturday morning surgeries for three years now, and did four consecutive ones this year. We administered over 3,500 vaccines. Patients love it, staff love it because it is team building as GPs and nurses give the vaccine and receptionists book them and make the tea and you can get all the administration done and out of the way before the invoice is due" - Name and address supplied

"We have run Saturday flu vacc surgeries for years. We normally see about 650 between 8am and 12.30pm" - Name and address supplied

"We offering two Saturady flu clinics" - Jacquelyn Horwood, Keelinge House Surgery

"CH medical in Oldham have offered couple of Saturday flu clinics again this year" - Sue Grant

"So far we have opened on three Saturday mornings and we are planning at least one more. This is in addition to the Thursday clinics we are running" - Name and address supplied

"In previous years we have offered flu clinics on a Thursday afternoon, the afternoon when the practice is normally closed. Due to patient dissatisfaction with the days offered this was extended to five Thursday afternoons last year. Even with five Thursdays only approximately 60% of the patients invited (we have 5,100 patients and offer flu vaccines to 1,400 per year) actually attended. This year we are opening the surgery from 08:30 to 18:30 on one Saturday as an alternative. We will see how well our patients receive this" - Name and address supplied

"So far we have opened on three Saturday mornings and we are planning at least one more. This is in addition to the Thursday clinics we are running" – Name and address supplied