Millions of patients to benefit from digital eligibility checker for flu vaccine in Patient Access

06 Nov 2019

Millions of patients across the UK will now have access to a digital tool to check whether they are entitled to a free flu jab via Patient Access.

The eligibility tracker from Patient Access – used by eight million people in the UK – is the first of its kind to enable patients to check their eligibility for a free jab and book an appointment in minutes. If they are not eligible, patients are directed to local pharmacy services for private flu vaccinations, in a bid to increase uptake following a drop in ‘at risk’ patients getting vaccinated last winter.

Those eligible for free vaccinations include all children aged from two years to the end of primary school, people over 65, those with certain long-term conditions, pregnant women and many carers. The eligibility tracker is also available online at for those who are not registered with a GP practice using an EMIS Health clinical system.

During the 2018-19 flu season, fewer than half (48%) of people in one or more ‘clinical’ risk group had the flu vaccination – down 3.5%, and well below the government target of 75%. It is hoped more people will opt in if they have clear online guidance on eligibility for a free one, or information about local services if they are ineligible for a free vaccine.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, a GP in London and Clinical Director of said: “My colleagues across the UK are well aware of how important it is for us to bring all high-risk patients into the surgery for their flu jab – and also how difficult it can be for busy admin staff to cope with people, whether on the phone or at reception, who are confused about eligibility and need guidance.

“This online tool gives clear step-by-step guidance to anyone who is unsure”

Dr Sarah Jarvis, a GP in London and Clinical Director of

“The guidance includes advice on where to go for appropriate professional help, whether that is their own GP surgery or a local pharmacist who is qualified to give the flu injection.”

Pharmacist Rishi Bhatia, said: “Community pharmacies are conveniently located near where people live and work. Many pharmacists offer walk-in appointments so patients can come in and get their vaccination at a time that best suits them.”

Patient Access is available to patients registered with GP surgeries using EMIS Health clinical systems. Patients can use the Patient Access app on their smartphone to book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions, view their medical record and manage their health.



Have you taken a look at the new features in Patient Access lately?