Audit to provide opportunity for NSW pharmacists to expand vaccination services

Media Release 

New South Wales (NSW) pharmacists will be able to showcase their expert vaccination knowledge and skills following the announcement that NSW Health is undertaking quality assurance audits to gain a greater understanding of pharmacist compliance with the NSW Pharmacist Vaccination Standards.

Any NSW pharmacy that delivers vaccination services may have to undertake an audit, including a separate audit of each authorised pharmacist vaccinator, which will begin Monday 17 August 2020.

NSW PSA Branch President Chelsea Felkai says the PSA has provided input to NSW Health in order to ensure a fair and educational approach is applied to the vaccination audits, in line with those undertaken by other health professionals.

“The vaccination audits will provide NSW pharmacists the opportunity to demonstrate their expert knowledge and competency in administering vaccines and this will go a long way in furthering our efforts for vaccination expansion and scope of practice around other injectables,” she says.

“Pharmacists have continued to demonstrate they are more than capable of providing a number of vaccination services to patients and this audit will provide an opportunity to review vaccination services in the pharmacy.

“In recent months NSW pharmacists have been given more scope to provide vaccines to patients including the influenza vaccination to children aged 10 and above and the ability to administer vaccinations outside of a community pharmacy.”

“This has led to a greater number of people in NSW being vaccinated and as the peak national body for pharmacists, PSA will continue to work with the NSW Government to remove barriers which restrict pharmacists from administering other vaccines to better protect the community.”

Any aspect of the NSW Pharmacist Vaccination Standards may be assessed as part of the audit, including pharmacist training, recording vaccinations, practice standards, the vaccination area and equipment, storage and handling, patient consent and eligibility, post vaccination care, management of adverse events and general requirements on authorised vaccines.

PSA has developed a Vaccination Audit Tool Guide for pharmacists, to support them in preparing for the audits, and is available to PSA Members at no charge.

PSA also has an immunisation resource hub and is offering support through its Pharmacist to Pharmacist Advice Line.

Pharmacists that are not compliant with the NSW Pharmacist Vaccination Standards may be advised that no further vaccinations are administered until identified issues are resolved and may be referred to the Pharmacy Council or NSW Health.

Text by: Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.