Publishing approval reference: C1168
To: LA Directors of Adult Social Care and ICS/STP Vaccination Leads
- Chairs of ICSs and STPs
- Local Authority Chief Executives
- NHS Regional Directors of Commissioning
- CCG Accountable Officers and Chairs
- PCN-led Local Vaccination Sites
2 March 2021
Thank you for your continued dedication to delivering COVID-19 vaccinations to your staff and communities.
The visits that NHS teams undertook to all older adult care homes was a major milestone for the vaccination programme and a further demonstration of the extraordinary work that has been done by NHS and care home staff throughout the pandemic. We wrote to PCN-led Local Vaccination Services (LVS) on 27 January to thank sites for their work so far to vaccinate residents and their staff.
Almost all older adult care homes received their first visit from a PCN-led roving vaccination team by 31 January. A very small number of first visits took place shortly thereafter due to COVID-19 preventing a visit in January.
To help complete this job, we need you and care providers to work with local partners to ensure social care staff vaccination rates increase further.
To support and enable vaccination, we are asking local systems to develop plans to increase social care staff uptake rates, and where a need to do so is identified, PCN-led roving vaccination teams may need to undertake second visits to older adult care homes to complete the first dose vaccination of staff. The need for a second visit will depend on individual care home circumstances and there should be a pragmatic approach to these decisions following discussion between the care home manager and vaccination team. For example, where there are both residents and staff members who have yet to be vaccinated, then a second visit would be needed. However, if there are only one or two staff members remaining to vaccinate, then a second visit from the roving team may not be appropriate. For these staff, access via their PCN or hospital hub should be encouraged, and eligible frontline care workers can also use the National Booking Service to book an appointment at a vaccination centre or community pharmacy. The most important principle is that there should be an open and collaborative channel of communication between individual care homes, local authorities and vaccination teams.
As roving vaccination teams will be starting to visit older adult care homes from March onwards in order to administer the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (77-84 days after the first dose), we recommend that PCN groupings concentrate on completing first dose administration in these settings up until and during the week commencing 8 March.
In support of this we are asking all ICSs / STPs to complete this online survey by close of Friday 5 March to improve understanding of why some social care staff have not come forward for vaccination.
The above survey includes questions on whether second visits to older adult care homes, to complete administration of the first dose, have already taken place or are planned to take place. ICSs / STPs should complete this part of the survey on behalf of their PCN-led sites to the same deadline. (The full survey questions are included as Appendix 1 below).
The £10 supplement in addition to the Item of Service fee for vaccinations administered to residents and/or staff in older adult care home settings has now been extended beyond the end of January. This means that any first doses administered in February onwards will also attract the supplement, as will corresponding second doses. The supplement payment will be calculated automatically by the NHS BSA for any first doses administered in February onwards that have been recorded as taking place in a care home within the Outcomes for Health (Pinnacle) Point of Care system. Vaccination teams should continue to record the setting in which vaccinations take place for this purpose going forward. Further information can be found in our finance guidance on the FutureNHS workspace which will be updated to reflect this change in due course.
Finally, as you will be aware, residents in older adult care homes will soon be able to start seeing family members again. If social care staff vaccination rates can increase, this will give care home residents and their families even more confidence that life in care homes can resume a sense of normality as a result of the greatly diminished risk of COVID-19 infection and serious complications.
Dr Nikita Kanani | Medical Director for Primary Care | NHS England and NHS Improvement
Sir David Pearson | Chair, Social Care Sector COVID-19 Support Task Force | Department of Health and Social Care
Questionnaire for Social Care Staff Vaccine Uptake and 2nd Visit Schedule
Part 1 – Social Care Staff Vaccine Uptake
- Select ICS / STP
- Please select from the drop-down list below the reasons that social care staff, in particular those working in care homes, have declined the COVID-19 vaccine. We have provided a list of reasons that have been expressed from various staff webinar meetings and which reflect the common themes that have emerged. <Please select all of those appropriate and rank these in order from 1-13 with 1 being the reason expressed the most to 13 being the lowest>
- Concerns around impact on fertility
- Concerns around pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Side effects of the vaccine
- Time taken to develop the vaccine / testing
- Vaccine ingredients (animal / blood products)
- Previously had COVID-19, therefore no need to vaccinate
- Dosage intervals
- Allergies / severe reactions
- Low level of protection
- Alters DNA
- Religious reasons
- Other <free text>
- Please can you provide a summary of your plans to increase social care staff (in particular care home staff) uptake and how you intend to target specific staff groups? <Free Text – c. 250 words>
- If plans are not yet developed, please provide a date that you will have developed plans to increase staff uptake and how you intend to do this? <Free Text – c. 250 words>
- Please let us know of any significant variations within the ICS / STP at borough level, for example specific issues with different staff groups? <Free Text – c. 250 words>
Part 2 – Older Adult Care Home 2nd Visit Schedule
The following set of questions relates to older adult care homes and the 2nd visit from PCN-led roving vaccination teams. Where required, 2nd visits are to complete administration of the 1st dose to any residents or staff not already vaccinated who were unavailable or unwell on the day of the 1st visit. This should not be confused with 2nd dose visits that will take place 11-12 weeks following the 1st dose visits.
- Select ICS / STP?
- How many older adult care homes is your ICS / STP aligned with? <Number>
- How many of your older adult care homes have already received a 2nd visit? <Number>
- How many of your older adult care homes have yet to receive their 2nd visit, but have a date booked for this purpose? <Number>
- By which date will the above older adult care homes have received their 2nd visit? <Insert date>
- How many of your older adult care homes have declined or do not require a 2nd visit? <Number>
- For the above older adult care homes that declined or do not require a 2nd visit, what are the reasons for this? <Drop down list to select from>
- Outbreak has delayed 2nd visit <insert number of care homes>
- All Staff and residents offered vaccination and have been vaccinated <insert number of care homes>
- All residents offered vaccination and have been vaccinated – any remaining staff have declined the vaccination <insert number of care homes>
- All residents offered vaccination have been vaccinated – any remaining staff will receive vaccination via other routes (e.g. vaccination centre) <insert number of care homes>
- Other <insert number of care homes>