The Pharmacists’ Defence Association has set up a web portal to help locum pharmacists put themselves forward for priority coronavirus vaccination as frontline health and social care workers. The JCVI priority list puts health workers in the second tier of individuals to receive vaccinations.
NHS England & Improvement has set out a priority vaccination process which is led by employers. It requires them to send lists of their employees to local CCGs so that they can organise the appointments. While many employers may add their regular locums to the staff lists they are compiling, there have been concerns from some locums (and their agencies) that they might not be included.
Pharmacist locums are being invited to register with the portal so that their details can be shared with the relevant CCG. The portal allows locums to select the CCG local to their geographical location. The list gathered via the portal will be transferred to the respective CCG vaccination operational centres. Once CCGs have finalised their vaccination plans, they will then arrange appointments with locums directly.
The PDA says it is making the facility available to all locums at no cost, whether they are PDA members or not, as part of its contribution to the NHS' efforts to manage the pandemic. The PDA adds that it will publish details of the arrangements for pharmacist vaccination programmes for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland once these become clear.
All locum/agency/bank staff across the health and care system can access vaccination via a local hospital hub, says NHS England. They may also be vaccinated alongside the clinical teams where they are working or in a pharmacy-led Local Vaccination Centre.