OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a community based influenza immunisation programme in terms of patients' and primary care professionals' satisfaction and uptake of immunisation. DESIGN: Surveys were conducted which compared the experiences and opinions of groups of staff and patients who had experienced the programme with groups where general practice was responsible for immunisation arrangements. SETTING: Primary care. SUBJECTS: Patients eligible for influenza immunisation and general practice staff involved in providing immunisation. RESULTS: A good response was obtained from patients (82.2%:2,900) and general practices (83.3%:55). Patients from both programme and comparison groups reported high levels of satisfaction with flu immunisation arrangements. Preferences expressed tended to coincide with patients' experiences of arrangements. Around 40% of both groups desired information. A minority of unvaccinated patients (more programme patients than comparators) expressed difficulties in accessing clinics. There were both advantages and disadvantages for general practices involved in the programme. Although time consumed in giving injections was less for programme staff, they reported substantial time spent on programme-related administration and dealing with patients' queries. Programme figures indicate uptake of 53.8% (not including those vaccinated elsewhere). Survey results show that 58.5% of programme patients who responded were vaccinated. CONCLUSIONS: In light of recent Scottish Executive Health Department guidance, experiences of this programme may be of interest to those contemplating Local Development Schemes for flu immunisation. Findings highlight the dilemma between potential economies of scale and continuity of care for patients.