National Immunisation Vaccination System (NIVS) for healthcare workers: frequently asked questions

NIVS is a digital solution being used to capture vaccination data. It allows for real-time, granular reporting.

The system pulls information from staff ESR data. The vaccinator only needs to input an employee number into NIVS for the system to pre-populate most information. This means additional information to be input by the vaccinator is kept to a minimum.

NIVS is currently being used in multiple settings to capture flu information and trusts that provide school-aged vaccination services will already be aware of it.

NIVS will be used to track vaccination status of staff for the COVID-19 vaccine, when a vaccine becomes available

This is anything but a typical year, due to the potential impact of flu and COVID-19 circulating at the same time. As set out in the letter from Pauline Philips on 14 October we therefore need to do all we can to ensure all frontline healthcare workers are vaccinated against flu.

The reporting and collection of real-time vaccination data is of paramount importance this year. Information will be used to support flu planning and response activities at both a national and local level.

 

Yes, organisations with an existing system in place are still required to export data into NIVS. The NIVS system allows for both real time input on an individual basis or for bulk upload from existing recording mechanisms.

No, currently that is not an option however it may be considered in the future if this functionality is required.

No, the local system will not feed into NIVS. Data must be submitted from the local system into NIVS. NIVS provides users with the option to bulk upload data.

Ideally colleagues will upload data to the NIVS system daily, or when they carry out vaccinations. The system allows for real-time input and is therefore a simple digital solution for organisations to record individual vaccination on a day by day basis. If this is not possible, the minimum upload frequency is weekly.

Yes, organisations with an existing recording system in place are required to export existing data into NIVS. NIVS allows for bulk uploads of existing data therefore this should be a quick and easy task, even if a large amount of staff have already been vaccinated.

The file must be in CSV format.

No, currently there is no integration with Microsoft Excel. The submission format for the data upload is CSV, however there is an option to save Excel files in CSV format.

Yes, a template and technical specification document will be sent out to all lead contacts which sets out all the mandatory fields that need to be entered. If you haven’t received this, please contact agem.nivs@nhs.net who will be able to send you a copy.

Yes, NIVS has been tested from a capacity perspective to cope with the number of providers. The system also auto-scales which means as the demand and users increase, the system automatically adds more memory to reduce the chances of the system crashing.

As in previous seasons, the routine monthly PHE data via the ImmForm system remains as official statistics for the influenza immunization programme.

As stated above, reporting and collection of real-time vaccination data is of paramount importance this year in order to allow national and local teams to refine and plan response activities where uptake is low. A fortnightly manual assurance process is in place which all trusts are required to complete until they have NIVS in place.

We recognise that questions around data governance will be at front and centre for organisations and can confirm:

  • The NHS England Technical Design Authority approved the application architecture and data flow management
  • Penetration testing of the Application was completed and approved
  • Business and service continuity assurance
  • Application testing assurance

A DPIA, including a System Level Security Policy and Access Control Policy, was completed and signed off by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

The DPIA states the lawful bases under GDPR for establishing this system and processes are Article 6(1)(e) (with regard to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s public health functions under the NHS Act 2006), Article 9(2)(h) (the processing is necessary for health or social care purposes) and Article 9(2)(i) (with regard to public health functions under Regulation 3(1) of the Health Service Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002.

In addition, the disclosure of confidential patient information is NHS COPI Notice which can be found on the NHS Digital website.

Yes, you will upload their data even if they are non-NHS staff, bank employees or newly recruited staff. It shouldn’t be a problem if they don’t have an employee or NHS number as the spine search will be carried out based on five demographics. These are first name, surname, date of birth, gender and postcode. Based on this information, the system should retrieve their NHS number.

Yes, you will still enter their data even if they don’t have an employee number or their NHS number. The system will carry out a spine search based on their five demographics including first name, surname, date of birth, gender and postcode. Based on this information, the system should retrieve their NHS number.

In theory, NHS Digital should have a copy of ESR records and should be able to reconcile the duplicate data. If you bulk upload with the same data, the system will only upload the new records and ensure there are no duplicate data records.

There is no additional funding available to vaccinate staff or for reporting purposes. However, healthcare worker flu vaccination is part of the 2020/21 CQUIN. Updated guidance to the NHS has now been published on the third phase of the NHS response to COVID-19. The operation of CQUIN (both CCG and specialised) will remain suspended for all providers until 31 March 2021. For Trusts, an allowance for CQUIN will continue to be built into nationally set block payments; for non-NHS providers, commissioners should continue to make CQUIN payments at the full applicable rate.

For more information please see our CQUIN pages

We strongly urge Independent Sector organisations to use NIVS.

NIVS will also be used to track vaccination status of staff for the COVID-19 vaccine, once a vaccine is available, and will therefore help planning and response activities.

If you have any questions about this programme, please contact agem.nivs@nhs.net and the team will be happy to respond.

You can also contact the national operations centre or regional flu leads via england.nhsfluspoc@nhs.net.