COVID-19 vaccination programme 2020/21 – Outcome of general practice site designation process and next steps


Versions of this letter with local signatories will start to be issued to sites being designated for vaccination from 24/11

To: PCN groupings

Cc: Clinical Commissioning Groups

24 November 2020

Dear colleagues

Thank you for nominating a site to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations as part of the forthcoming NHS programme. We have had a fantastic response from general practice. We know general practice is already busy and we are hugely grateful for your commitment to ensuring your patients are vaccinated as soon as possible.

We are pleased to confirm that the site you proposed (details annexed to this letter) has been approved. This letter provides more information about next steps.

1. On behalf of systems, each CCG will now confirm immediately with their PCN groupings:

  • The named CCG lead and contact details to support PCN groupings.
  • Named PCN lead including contact details.
  • Estimate of likely weekly workforce capacity and vaccine usage at the site.
  • Details of CQC registration.

2. The Enhanced Service Specification and Collaboration Agreement will be published imminently so that practices can formally confirm their sign up over the following 7 days. Confirmation of final site participation in the programme, is critical to enable sites to be supported with mobilisation planning.

3. Full details of the technology and payment solutions that need to be used, supply and logistics arrangements and support around workforce and training will be made available. Once signed up to the ES PCN groupings will be asked to confirm as a matter of priority what equipment their site requires from a national inventory which will be provided free of charge. We are now able to confirm that PPE we be supplied as part of the consumables drop to each site ahead of vaccine deliveries and PCNs do not need to source this via the DHSC portal.

4. CCGs will agree with PCN groupings the one-off costs of setup which will be met by the NHS from an agreed mobilisation date, applying a value for money test. Up to £20m has initially been made available to systems to meet these expenses.

5. We will aim to give all sites at least 10 days notice of the first vaccines becoming available to ensure sites can be stood-up and clinics arranged. Vaccinations will not commence in PCN grouping sites during the week of 30/11. As details of the vaccine characteristics and supply dates continue to become clearer we will provide further information, including on the mechanism for vaccine allocation.

6. As you know, there was an announcement this week by the Secretary of State for Health that the flu vaccination programme should be extended to the 50-64 year old cohort. In light of the confirmation that COVID  vaccinations will not commence during the week of 30/11, we are conscious that some PCN groupings may wish to use this opportunity to invite this cohort to their single designated site, both to test arrangements whilst ensuring the best sequencing of the two programmes. Please do advise your CCG if this is the case, so they can support with ensuring that any equipment requirements and one-off funding requests are prioritised.

PCN sites will be an essential part of a wider, integrated NHS programme for delivery of the vaccine. As a default, PCN groupings will be expected to carry out vaccination for the care homes linked to them under the Primary Care Network DES and to ensure that housebound patients receive a vaccination. Guidance on the vaccination of these patient cohorts will follow once further vaccine efficacy data for specific cohorts is available. In areas of high care home or housebound patient density, and more generally, we would expect systems to co-ordinate roving approaches to these and other settings to ensure maximum vaccination coverage. Systems will want to have in place a clear plan on how different providers will collaborate locally to achieve the best outcomes.

Please ensure you have signed up to receive the NHSE/I Primary Care Bulletin at to receive further updates on key programme developments. All of the key documents for practices delivering the Enhanced Service will be published on

We will be holding a further webinar on Thursday 26 November at 5pm where we will share further information about the programme. You can register for the webinar here.

Thank you once again for coming forward so quickly to support the delivery of this critical programme and for the ongoing support and efforts of all those working within general practice during this pandemic. Please do ensure that you are aware of the flexibilities available to support practices to manage their workload while also delivering COVID-19 vaccinations which were communicated in the NHSE/I Primary Care Bulletin on 13 November 2020 and discuss these with your CCG as appropriate.

Ed Waller | Director of Primary Care

Dr Nikki Kanani |  Medical Director for Primary Care