Standard operating procedure: COVID-19 vaccine deployment programme hospital hub: care home staff


  1. Purpose
  2. Scope
  3. Responsibility
  4. Procedure
    1. Cohort identification
    2. Actions for care home providers (noting that many of these actions may already be underway)
    3. Actions for Hospital Hubs (noting that many of these actions may already be underway
  5. Appendix 1 Hospital Hub – Care home workers SOP schematic

Classification: Official
Publications approval reference: 001559 / C0941

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) standard operating procedure

COVID-19 vaccine deployment programme Hospital hub: care home staff

Version 1, 6 December 2020

This guidance is correct at the time of publishing. However, as it is subject to updates, please use the hyperlinks to confirm the information you are disseminating to the public is accurate.

1. Purpose

This standard operating procedure (SOP) describes the process hospital hub providers and care home providers should follow in identifying priority staff, providing them with information, scheduling, administering and capturing data in order to safely provide Covid-19 vaccination to them. Vaccination of care home workers is a top priority according to the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). This SOP enables these key staff to gain access to the first batches of vaccine, which will be made available from the first tranche of hospital hubs. Over the coming weeks, further hospital hubs, local vaccination services and vaccination centres will open, widening choice and accessibility.

The term care homes is defined in this SOP – to align with the JCVI prioritisation – as those homes for the over-65s which are Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated care-only homes or CQC regulated care homes with nursing. Staff from alternative care services will be supported to receive their vaccination through a range of delivery models including local vaccination services and vaccination centres.

This is an interim process for the first phase of the vaccination programme. This SOP will be updated as we learn of potential improvements from operational delivery.

This SOP is designed to clarify roles and responsibilities, but it is not intended to disrupt any existing local arrangements that are in place and effective. It is therefore a guide to the process, for local adaptation and consideration.

2. Scope

This SOP outlines how Hospital Hubs and care home providers should work together to deliver COVID-19 vaccination to care home staff. It covers actions for care home providers in relation to the identification of eligible cohorts, staff communication, and for Hospital Hubs in booking, data capture, and administration. This SOP does not cover the clinical delivery of the vaccine.

3. Responsibility

Hospital hubs are responsible for the activities within the hub, care home providers are responsible for activities related to their own staff. Local Authorities/LRFs have an important role in co-ordination between the NHS and care home providers and have been requested to nominate a local lead to work with care home leads and Hospital Hub leads to co-ordinate delivery.

4. Procedure

Note in COVID-19 vaccine deployment content the following abbreviations may be used:

    • Hospital Hubs – HH
    • Care home – CH
    • NIVS – National Immunisation Vaccination System
    • NIMS – National Immunisation Management System

4.1 Cohort identification

    • Residents and staff who work in care homes for older adults are included in the JCVI priority cohort 1. All other social care workers are included in cohort 2.
    • Care home workers are defined as those working with older adults in long-stay residential and nursing care homes or registered residential and nursing care homes where rapid spread is likely to follow introduction of infection and cause high morbidity and mortality.
    • Care home providers are responsible for identifying workers in their care homes (whether they be employed, clinical, care, ancillary or administration staff, agency, volunteers, etc) who have social or clinical contact with residents, and prioritise encouragement for vaccination according to the extent of their contact with residents. All staff groups are included, and it is for the care home provider to ensure that all workers get priority access to vaccine.

4.2 Actions for care home providers (noting that many of these actions may already be underway)

4.2.1 Note: Care home providers should expect to be contacted by their nominated Local Authority/LRF co-ordinator and/or their local Hospital Hub

4.2.2 Care home providers should (based on section 4.1) produce a list of individuals for vaccination

4.2.3 Care home providers should complete a template (to be provided) which contains list of invitees from their care home(s), and information that will enable central reporting by care home. Care home providers will be given guidance by the Hospital Hub/LA/LRF co-ordinator on how to send this back to the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS) provider (this can be done retrospectively and the template and information governance guidance will be provided shortly).

4.2.4 Care home providers to provide a populated letter to their identified priority invitees containing details of:

      • name of person to be vaccinated on the letter and their employer or care home that they work with
      • hospital hub where their vaccination will be offered
      • Instructions of how their booking is being managed into the hospital hub site (to be provided via the local authority co-ordinator or the hospital hub directly). This should preferably be a block booking, linked to clear transport arrangements for staff.
      • Logistical and support arrangements (pay, transport, etc) for getting to the hospital hub site
      • Request that the employee fills in their personal details on the letter – date of birth, address including home postcode, contact telephone number, registered GP and NHS number (if known)

4.2.5 Ensure that records of staff COVID-19 vaccinations are accurately captured using Capacity Tracker (as with Flu). Note: this is under development.

4.2.6 Liaise with their nominated hospital hub directly or via nominated Local Authority/LRF lead to confirm arrangements, such as whether numbers of staff would warrant a specific clinic to align with any arranged transport, etc. The LA/LRF lead will also work with NHS and local care providers to ensure that there are sufficient appointments for the number of care home workers required, and that all vaccination slots are filled.

4.2.7 Please continue to encourage staff to have the flu vaccine as well. Immunity from the COVID-19 vaccine is from 7 days after the second dose. We know that there is a significantly increased risk of mortality where staff or residents have flu and coronavirus at the same time. It is therefore very important that care home providers emphasise the importance of having the flu vaccine as well and support staff to be vaccinated against the flu.

4.2.8 Care home providers should seek to confirm that if staff have received their flu vaccination prior to booking their appointment at the hospital hub, that they should be 7 days apart (this applies to both doses). It is not a requirement to have taken the flu vaccination before having the COVID-19 vaccination, but it is encouraged (as described in 5.2.7).

4.2.9 Care home providers are asked to consider the logistics of releasing staff to receive their vaccine, while maintaining safe staffing levels within their home.

4.2.10 Care home providers should consider how to maximise staff uptake of the vaccination through conversations by line managers and with teams, using nationally available staff and public communications materials. Conversations should also consider any employer support to access the vaccination site and include confirmation that travel will be socially distanced as necessary.

4.2.11 In the event of outbreaks of other infections, care providers should seek advice about whether any vaccination at the hubs should be delayed, and if so for how long from the local authority coordinator or the hub. They in turn can take advice from Public Health England or the local Director of Public Health.

4.3 Actions for Hospital Hubs (noting that many of these actions may already be underway

4.3.1 Appoint a Single Point of Contact for care home worker vaccination; and share details with all relevant LA/LRF leads.

4.3.2 Confirm they have received initial list of allocated 50+ bed care homes within 20 miles of their Hospital Hub site (this list has been provided by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and circulated via the NHS Single Point Of Contact). Be prepared to receive further lists, for example, covering all eligible care homes or sub-sets (eg smaller homes) and liaise with LA/LRF lead to develop plans to vaccinate their workers.

4.3.3 Make contact with Local Authority co-ordinators (list to be provided by DHSC and will be circulated once received via SPOC).

4.3.4 Establish a local booking system for vaccination clinics.

4.3.5 Provide details of how to book appointments to the Local Authority co-ordinator (who can cascade this to care homes in their area, for inclusion in the template letter) or directly to care homes – ensuring that the LA/LRF co-ordinator is sighted on the arrangements so that they can support the care homes in maximising uptake.

4.3.6 Import data from booking system into NIMS or NIMS via the National Immunisation Vaccination System (NIVS).

4.3.7 When booking, confirm individual is eligible and has a copy of their letter (verbal request only), and request that they bring their template letter with them, completed with their details. Confirm first and second appointment date, time and location.

4.3.8 Administer vaccination (following required process).

4.3.9 Provide individual with PHE record card, completed with name of vaccine, batch number and date of their first dose of vaccination. Complete date and time for second vaccination.

4.3.10 Remind individual of appointment for their second vaccination dose in 21 days’ time, at the same location.

4.3.11 In the event of a DNA to the first appointment, recall individual for alternative appointment.

4.3.12 Update information on NIMS or NIMS via NIVS for first vaccination.

4.3.13 At appropriate time, remind patient of appointment for second vaccination.

4.3.14 At point of second vaccination, confirm record of first vaccination and complete PHE record card with name of vaccine, batch number and date of second vaccination.

4.3.15 In the event of a DNA, recall individual for their second appointment.

4.3.16 Update information on NIMS or NIMS via NIVS for second vaccination.

Appendix 1 Hospital Hub – Care home workers SOP schematic

Hospital Hub – care home staff vaccinations process

Hospital Hub - care home staff vaccinations process