NHS England & Improvement is providing an additional £20m to pharmacy and GP Covid vaccination sites to speed up the delivery of the second jab.
The funding, coming via integrated care systems (ICS), is to enable primary care providers to draw down additional staff to help deliver the vaccination programme between June 16 and July 14.
ICSs will directly reimburse lead employers for additional staff drawn down by community pharmacy-led Covid-19 vaccination sites (and PCN-led sites) that are delivering vaccinations to cohorts 10-12, says a NHSE&I letter sent out yesterday.
The funding has been allocated on the basis of site numbers to provide an average of seven additional staff (including some from the volunteer bank) for the four-week period, covering a range of roles depending on need.
The ring-fenced funding will “bring in extra workforce to support the recovery of NHS services and another busy and crucial period for the Covid-19 vaccination deployment programme," said NHSE&I.
ICSs are being asked to work with their PCNs, community pharmacy-led vaccination sites and their lead employer to ensure the funding is deployed where it is most needed to increase vaccination uptake.
CCGs and ICSs are being urged to “offer all possible support to primary care to bring forward second dose appointments in line with JCVI guidance” and “minimise any burden associated with locally commissioned services where these do not support Covid-19 vaccination”.
The funding comes after those aged between 25-29 became eligible for their Covid jab on Tuesday (June 8), with a more than a million first and second dose appointments booked in the following 24 hours.
Accessing additional support is contingent on:
“PCN and community pharmacy-led Covid-19 vaccination sites have played a vital role in the administration of over 58 million vaccinations to date. We are incredibly grateful for all you have done to support the programme,” says NHSE&I primary care medical director Dr Nikita Kanani.