COVID-19 Vaccination in older adult care homes – thank you and next steps by 31 January



Publication approval reference: C1082


PCN-led Local Vaccination Sites
CCG Accountable Officers
NHSE/I Regional Directors
Community Health Provider Chief Executives

27 January 2021

Dear Colleagues,

PCN-led vaccination teams have made major progress vaccinating residents and staff in older adult care homes to deliver the target of completing all vaccinations possible in older adult care home settings by the end of this week. Thank you so much for everything that you and your colleagues have done to make this happen.

We are now asking PCN groupings to confirm completion of the following next steps:

  1. All older adult care homes still awaiting their first visit must receive this visit by close on Sunday 31 January (apart from in truly exceptional circumstances).
  2. Where the local authority or local Director of Public Health has concluded that a visit to a care home with a COVID-19 outbreak should not take place, this must be confirmed in writing by the local authority or local Director of Public Health by close Sunday 31 January to the CCG and region, and needs to include the name of each care home and how many residents have not been able to receive their first jab. Sites must arrange a provisional date to undertake the first visit to that care home at the earliest possible opportunity, and the new date must be confirmed with the care home by Sunday 31 January.
    1. Please refer to our guidance on vaccination in care homes that have cases and outbreaks.
    2. The Standard Operating Procedure for community settings (SOP) sets out that patients are eligible for a vaccine following sufficient time after symptoms have stopped and the patient has recovered from COVID-19 (28 days).
  3. Sites should ensure that any second/follow-up visits needed to complete administration of the first dose are made by close on Sunday 31 January, or at the very least, that a date for the second/follow-up visit is arranged and confirmed with the care home within this timeframe.
    1. The SOP advises that providers should seek to minimise the number of unnecessary visits to care homes, but that a 4-visit schedule may be needed to ensure maximum resident and staff coverage for both doses of the vaccine.
  4. Regular contact should be maintained between care homes and PCN Groupings, to ensure that new or recently returned residents’ vaccination status is confirmed, and any unvaccinated new or returned residents receive vaccination as soon as possible.
    1. Please refer to the joint guidance on ‘Admission and Care of Residents in a Care Home during COVID-19’ on how to minimise the risk to existing residents from any new or returning residents joining the care home setting from hospital, interim care facilities and/or the community.
  5. Continue to do everything you can to work with care home managers to encourage staff members to have the COVID-19 vaccination.
    1. Where staff have declined to receive the vaccination at the care home setting, they should be reminded that they can still access the vaccination via their PCN-led local vaccination site, or another vaccination centre convenient to them.
    2. In addition, you have told us that some staff are more likely to take the vaccination on a second or third visit to the care home, so please continue to pursue this option for them. Needless to say, reducing infection rates in staff will boost protection for residents.

Care Homes supplement and vaccination recording

In order to be included in the February payment to the lead practice within your PCN Grouping, all activity relating to vaccinations administered between 14 December 2020 and 31 January 2021 should be recorded within the Outcomes for Health (Pinnacle) Point of Care system no later than 23:59 on 31 January 2021. For more information, please refer to our guidance on payment of the Item of Service fee and care homes supplement on the FutureNHS workspace and attached for ease of reference.

Thank you again for the huge efforts you have made so far and will continue to make over the coming days and weeks to ensure we achieve as high as possible vaccination coverage rates for residents and staff in older adult care homes.

Many thanks

Dr Nikita Kanani | Medical Director for Primary Care | NHS England and NHS Improvement

Ed Waller | Director of Primary Care | NHS England and NHS Improvement