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Gateshead Primary Care Trust (PCT) has been developing intelligence data to inform an eventual intervention to increase the uptake of influenza vaccination in the area. In spite of the benefits of the vaccination, across the PCT there is patchy uptake of this immunisation, especially among at-risk groups. The PCT first commissioned social marketing research on a sample of the population. Late into the year in 2006 a preliminary study was carried out in a sample practice population in Gateshead (Chopwell) to investigate specific logistical problems that might have a material effect on a full roll-out of a social marketing intervention eventually. With full co-operation of the practice, the flu vaccination logistics in this population were explored:

The study was started too late in the year to contribute much more than a marginal effect on uptake rates, and this was confirmed in the results of this year’s vaccination programme.

The final uptake figure for Gateshead this year was 76.7% (down 0.7%) for over 65s. Of the 33 practices in Gateshead, 31 achieved the 70% target with the best practice achieving 92% but this was also down by 2% on last year. When compared nationally we did very well coming ninth overall. However, there was an increase of 0.4% in the over 65 population who declined or were contraindicated.

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