I recently questioned when one of my children last had a tetanus jab.
The GP surgery checked for me and they had no more jabs recorded since 2005. They suggested I check with school. I eventually found out that my child had indeed received one at school since that date, but whilst this had been recorded correctly at the school end, it had not been added to my child’s medical file at the GP surgery.
I have now discovered that my child had indeed been given four immunisations, which were all not recorded on her GP records. Asking around other parents, I found out that young children who had received the flu vaccine at school, also had not had the information entered onto their GP files.
This is a serious matter as children could be receiving too many injections if not correctly recorded.GP’s cannot ensure that correct immune systems are in place in communities for halting the spread of infection, if recording is not done and shared between the health agencies in a confidential manner.
It seems that the Liverpool Community Health is responsible for keeping all this data, so are they also responsible for ensuring it is passed on to the GP records? If not then why are parents not being told to inform the GP themselves each time their child is immunized?Speaking to a person from the school nursing system, I was told that they also were unaware of this absent data. I have phoned them a number of times, but so far nobody else has come back to me on this matter.
The Liverpool Community Health, NHS Trust website has these comments on their immunisation and vaccinations:
The Vaccination and immunisation service liaises with other services who are also involved with the immunisation process.
Child Health Recording mechanisms
Data analysts to monitor vaccine uptake
Medicines management re storage of vaccines
Public Health England for the management of outbreaks of disease
Management of Disease Outbreak
Communicating awareness of disease outbreaks to all relevant staff
Dispensing immediate advice/action to be taken in clinical areas during an outbreak
Developing strategies for mass immunisation
Co-ordinating/staffing emergency clinics to contain outbreaks
Ensuring front line staff have received relevant vaccine
Reflect on lessons learned and formulate preparedness plans
Alongside the Flu co-ordinator project manager, the V&I Service is involved with the planning, training delivery and implementation of the annual staff flu programme
Planning meetings for the flu season
Taking designated action on the flu plan
Ensure promotional materials distributed and displayed
Mentoring of new immunisers during the flu season
Vaccinating staff on/off site to ensure flexibility and availability of vaccination
Ensuring prompt return of data to analysts
Positive contribution towards Department of Health staff flu targets
I would assume from the above comments that something is going wrong with their implementation of these actions.
My child attends high school, the other child attends a primary school so just how far reaching is this problem?
Southport Lib Dem Chair, Lynne Thompson, is concerned that this may not just be a problem for selected Southport schools. She has asked John Pugh MP to check with the Ministry for Health and NHS England as to whether GPs throughout England are getting the proper information which they require as to which of their child patients have had which vaccinations at school.
“Nowadays, you would expect this information to be routinely transferred to the GP surgeries instantaneously by internet file transfer the moment the vaccinations in school are completed,” she says.
Councillor Tony Dawson, Southport’s local NHS spokesperson says,
“It is highly confusing for children, parents and doctors alike and a complete waste of resources if family doctors are setting out to duplicate what has already been done in schools. I have asked the local Care Commissioning Group to look into this as a matter of some urgency.”
So what should parents do?
Parents need to ensure that their child’s GP records are up to date with the vaccinations they have been given at school. The school nurse should be able to obtain a copy of all up to date vaccinations, so that parents can give a copy to their GP to check if their data is correct.
I should hope that the Liverpool Community Health run an investigation into finding out where the breakdown in data sharing has happened. Surely all school nurses can be given a date stamped card to pass on to all parents to give to their GP service as immunisations happen?
My GP service said I would need to give them the letter I have obtained from the school nurse re my daughter, before they can update her file. Therefore parents do require something in writing.
Cath Regan ©
Pine Pixies Pre-School, Formby
Cath Regan blog
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