Publication reference: Publication reference: PRN00914
- Regional directors of public health and commissioning
- Integrated care board chief executives
- GP practices and primary care networks
- Heads of primary care
- Head of public health
Confirmation of national vaccination and immunisation catch-up campaign for 2023/24
Thank you for all you are doing to support vaccinations and immunisations delivery.
You will be aware that practices are required to participate in a national vaccination and immunisation national catch-up campaign each year, as a requirement of the GP contracts.
We are writing to confirm that the 2023/24 national vaccinations and immunisations catch-up campaign will once again focus on measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR).
Measles cases are rising with over twice as many cases confirmed in the first half of 2023 compared to the previous year. We know that having the MMR vaccine is the best way to protect our communities and this campaign is therefore aimed at improving uptake in MMR vaccinations, improving recording of MMR vaccination status and reducing the risk of outbreaks in England.
This letter confirms the details of the national MMR catch up campaign including what we are doing nationally to encourage uptake and the ask of practices.
The campaign will run from November 2023 to March 2024 in two stages:
- From November 2023 to March 2024 – practices will be required to undertake local call and recall for eligible individuals aged 12 months up to and including 5 years.
- From January 2024 to March 2024 – practices are asked to support requests for vaccination from individuals aged 6 years up to and including 25 years. This cohort will be identified through phased national call and recall, and where individuals or parents/carers contact their practice following receipt of the invitation, practices are required to check the individual’s vaccination status for valid vaccinations (e.g., given at the correct age and at the correct intervals) and book an appointment for vaccination if clinically appropriate. Further information will follow, via the Primary Care Bulletin and Regional cascade, to provide advanced notice of the phased national call and recall, including the schedule of call and recall communications. This catch-up will be supported by the School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) for the relevant age cohorts, alongside general practice activity.
A summary of the requirements can be found in annex A. Most are continued activities and systematic checks from the last two campaigns and things practices would already be doing to support the delivery of vaccinations and immunisations to their eligible patients. The new requirements are outlined clearly in the annex under bullet 2.
Funding and vaccine ordering
Funding for participation in the national catch-up campaign is included in global sum payments. Practices are also eligible for an item of service payment of £10.06, in line with requirements set out in GP contracts, for each MMR vaccination administered because of this catch-up activity.
The MMR vaccine continues to be available for practices to order through IMMFORM.
You can find more information to support the campaign on NHS Futures, including
Thank you again for supporting this vital campaign and helping protect children against these highly infectious diseases.
Caroline Temmink, Director of Vaccinations, NHS England
Annex A: Summary of requirements of practices
1. Practices must:
- ensure the named Practice Immunisation Lead is engaged and oversees the practice’s participation in the catch-up campaign, including informing the local commissioner of the outcome of the campaign;
- apply the V&I core contractual standards to the planning and delivery of the MMR catch up campaign (see part 9A of the GMS Regulations and guidance);
- undertake the following proactive systematic checks as part of this campaign:
- check patient paper/electronic records (Electronic Patient Record) and if necessary correct computerised record to ensure accurate MMR vaccination status recording.
- confirm that the patient is still in the area – if they are not, remove them from the list and inform the local CHIS.
- actively invite all those missing one or both doses of MMR to a vaccination clinic held in the practice or to book an appointment. Priority should be given to patients missing both doses as this is where most clinical value is gained. A minimum three invitations per patient as follows:
- First invitation to offer an appointment.
- Second invitation to offer an appointment, confirm receipt and/or check if the parent/guardian already has a record of vaccination e.g. in the Personal Child Health Record.
- Third invitation should be a practice healthcare professional discussion with the parent or guardian, either face-to-face or via telephone. Practices can make use of the UKHSA resources in call/recall discussions to support informed choice and improved uptake and coverage. At this point also check for any other missing childhood immunisations and offer these.
- consider options to offer vaccinations more flexibly to the eligible cohort;
- ensure that parents/guardians of patients who need a second dose are invited and attend for the second dose (three invitations);
- continue to follow-up, recall and update computerised records for patients who do not respond or fail to attend scheduled clinics or appointments, and offer opportunistically as and when;
- if there is no response achieved by following the process outlined above, practices must notify school nursing service/school aged immunisation provider to follow-up/offer at school; and
- inform local commissioning team of outcome of the campaign.
2. New to the 2023/24 campaign, practices must also:
- Utilise opportunistic booking and clinically appropriate administration of MMR vaccine when eligible unvaccinated patients are presenting.
- Implement a Make Every Contact Count (MECC) approach for review of MMR vaccination status and administration of MMR vaccine. Every point of patient contact (e.g. booking, attending the practice, text and written communications) should promote a review of MMR vaccination status and if required booking.
- For the 6 to 25 year old cohort only: Have a practice specific process in place to support patients aged 6 years up to and including 25 years who have received national MMR call and recall reminders, the process should include checking the vaccination status for valid vaccinations (e.g. given at the correct age and at the correct intervals) and booking an appointment for vaccination if clinically appropriate or updating patient records accordingly following vaccination history check where patients contact the practice as a result of the national invite. This activity will be supported by the School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) for the relevant age cohorts and further information will be cascaded via Primary Care Bulletin and Regional Teams on the call/recall scheduling.