Staffing support to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to care home residents and staff



Publications approval reference: 001559 / C0976


To: Regional Directors of Workforce

Copy to:

  • Regional Directors of Commissioning
  • Regional Directors of Finance

20 December 2020

Dear colleagues,

Thank you for your continued support in delivering the COVID-19 vaccination programme and for the extensive work that is taking place.

As you will be aware primary care services have in recent weeks started delivering the vaccination programme to their local populations across the country and more of these services will be commencing in the coming days.

We have recently piloted an approach to deliver the vaccine in care home settings using a roving model. The pilot has been successful, and we are now asking for the approach to be expanded across England to deliver an increased number of vaccinations in these settings as soon as possible, including before the 31 December 2020.

Through previous engagement you will be aware that we have asked systems to prepare to mobilise workforce that can be deployed to primary care settings to assist with delivering an increased number of vaccinations via local vaccination services.

This letter confirms that the roving vaccination model will be rolled out and details the specific arrangements that should be put in place to support this important piece of work.

Workforce deployment

Primary care networks have been asked to consider their staffing requirements carefully and identify workforce that can support the delivery of this work. We recognise, however, that there will be instances where extra staffing is required.

Where primary care services require additional staffing support, they have been asked to liaise with their lead employer as soon as possible detailing the types of workforce required and the time periods it is required for.

To support this deployment, we are asking lead employers and regions to identify staff recruited to support the delivery of the vaccination programme locally to provide support. We would like to also encourage that individuals deployed via the Bringing Back Staff scheme are given the opportunity to support primary care.

In addition, we know that many community trusts play a key role with primary care systems in management of care homes and we expect community trusts to support short term deployment of staff to support vaccinations of these residents.

Salary arrangements and recharging

To facilitate this rapid mobilisation of staff we are asking that staff are paid by their normal employer for the work undertaken, be this as part of their normal substantive pay arrangements or bank pay if they are an ad hoc worker. In all circumstances the local employer pay and terms and conditions should apply.

Funding will be made available and distributed to providers locally for work undertaken to support this ask. There will be no recharging arrangements to primary care specifically for work related to care home vaccinations. However, there will be a requirement for this activity to be appropriately financially coded to ensure that reimbursement is made for work undertaken.

The exact arrangements for handling the reimbursement of additional costs relating to primary care, care home vaccination activities is being finalised and a further communication setting the detailed process will follow in the coming days.

Arrangements for non-care home primary care activity

This specific staffing and funding arrangement will apply only to activity related to the delivery of vaccinations to care home residents and staff.

As local vaccination services continue to mobilise, we recognise that there will further asks of lead providers to assist with providing staffing. For all activity that is not related to delivering vaccinations to care home residents and staff the cost of staffing will need to be met by primary care networks and the specific payment arrangements determined at a local level.

Next steps

Thank you again for your continued support in delivering this important work.

We should be grateful if you would ensure that this letter is cascaded appropriately to the relevant individuals within your region.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the regional or national team.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Radford | Chief Nurse | Health Education England | and Director – Workforce and Training | COVID Vaccination Programme

Simon Currie | Director of Finance  | COVID Vaccination Programme

Dr Nikita Kanani | Medical Director for Primary Care