The aim of this study was to investigate influenza immunisation rates in the United Kingdom over a 6-year period and examine trends in uptake by deprivation, ethnicity, rurality and risk group. Influenza immunisation rates were determined from 1999/2000 to 2004/2005 using a large general practice database (QRESEARCH). There was a relative increase of 59.5% in the overall influenza vaccination rate over the study period. In 2004/2005, 70.2% of all patients aged 65 and over were vaccinated, compared with 29.3% of patients in a clinical risk group aged less than 65. Males, patients from deprived areas and from areas with a higher proportion of non-White residents had slightly lower vaccination rates overall. This general practice based study suggests that substantial increases in influenza vaccination rates have occurred across all risk groups, but that increased focus should be given to immunising high-risk patients below the age of 65.