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Managing local delivery of the national vaccination programme

We provided programme and project management support to implement the national COVID-19 vaccination programme in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and the Black Country, establishing over 50 vaccination centres.

Background
Commissioning Support Units (CSUs) were asked to assist the rapid rollout of the vaccination programme in England. Midlands and Lancashire CSU deployed dedicated teams across multiple systems, with significant digital and programme management resource positioned in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and the Black Country. The task was to manage at a local level the delivery and implementation of the national programme through establishing centres following all four models of vaccine delivery – primary-care run sites, hospital, pharmacy and mass vaccination hubs.

Action
Starting late September 2020, we created programme plans, including estate planning, recruitment and resourcing, patient communications, risk assessments and digital direction.

This insight enabled key decisions to be made and highlighted a necessity for interim system solutions, so that vaccinations occur in a timely manner aligned to the national and regional programmes.

A digital programme was established to consider the practical technical requirements for vaccination sites and the vaccination control room.

We made sure data systems were set up correctly, for example, we developed a data modelling and forecasting tool to cover all CCGs within the Black Country.

Another key deliverable of the programme was accurate reporting, both regular and on-request:

  • Tracking the numerous cohorts defined by NHS England and Improvement
  • Providing varied daily operational reports for workforce planning, vaccination delivery, personal protective equipment, and others.

Impact

Herefordshire and Worcestershire were one of the first areas to go live with vaccinations in the country.

We created over 50 different vaccination centres within Herefordshire, Worcestershire and the Black Country that used both the appointment scheduling solution, SimplyBook, and the National Booking System.

Several point of care systems were deployed. NIVS was used for staff vaccinations and Pinnacle – for patient vaccinations. Both feed data into the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS) and GP record systems.

In March 2021, the programme was transitioning from a blended approach of local and national solutions to a single national system of providing the public with required vaccinations. This helps to establish a ‘business as usual’ model, which will ensure an efficient process should there be a need for booster vaccinations in the future.