Public health commissioning

NHS England is responsible for screening and immunisation programmes. Specialist public health staff from Public Health England (PHE) are embedded in the Public Health team within the Direct Commissioning Directorate.

Screening Work

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Vaccine Programme in South West

The regional vaccination team has drawn on its learning from the annual flu vaccination roll out to successfully deliver millions of COVID-19 immunisations across the footprint.

The success of the South West Vaccination Programme has been achieved by NHS partners working together to ensure that everyone could access a vaccination easily when their cohort became eligible. The team worked closely with the seven healthcare systems across the South West to refine plans and increase capacity in line with vaccination supply. A regional Vaccination Health Inequalities Group led by the South West Regional Public Health team is in place to coordinate activity and spread best practice as systems develop robust plans to encourage vaccine uptake equity among their local communities.

Critical to success are community pharmacies across the region that enable people to get a vaccination on the high street. This offering proved particularly important in rural areas where a pharmacy was often closer than a vaccination service at a GP or a large vaccination centre.

There have been some great examples of local communities pulling together and taking innovative approaches to vaccination delivery across the region with systems establishing pop-up clinics at mosques, temples and other community settings in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) and Dorset. Fire Stations in Gloucestershire, roving models in Cornwall and Somerset and a mobile model bringing the vaccine to rural communities by bus in Devon and by canal boat in Bath, Swindon and Wiltshire are memorable examples. There have also been widespread donations of food, drink and offers of premises for the vaccinations to take place in which have made a considerable difference to the delivery of the programme across the region. The Regional Vaccination Team would like to thank the people of the South West for their support and generosity for the vaccination programme.

Child Health Information Services Procurement

NHSE&I South West’s Public Health team have procured a central Child Health Information Services (CHIS) to cover Bath & North East Somerset, Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire.

CHIS provides a database of information on a population of children for the purposes of delivering a range of public health programmes including immunisation and screening. The service consists of three components, an IT system known as the child health information system, a child health records department, and a personal child health record (the Red Book).

Traditionally, a CHIS served a single local authority/CCG population and was generally provided by local children’s service providers using a variety of the different IT platforms. More recently, though, providers have started covering several areas and the regional Public Health team have procured a single provider to cover all four of the footprint’s nominated areas.

Ensuring that one model is used for all four areas, it’s hoped that this approach will build greater resilience and provide an opportunity for innovation and service improvement.