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NHSE: Places of worship could partner with PCNs to host ‘roving’ vaccination sites

by Jess Hacker
26 February 2021

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Places of worship could partner with existing PCN and pharmacy-led sites to host temporary Covid vaccination clinics in communities with lower uptake, NHS England has said.

In a letter to commissioners (24 February), NHS England said a large number of places of worship had expressed interest in supporting the Covid-19 vaccination programme and that it was keen to partner these with existing sites as roving clinics.

The venues would have to meet essential safety criteria to be considered, it added.

NHS England asked CCGs and local commissioners to help facilitate conversations between the venues and PCN and pharmacy sites, and ‘to advise their NHS England regional team if a provider is able to hold a temporary vaccination clinic from these sites’.

‘We are keen to support these venues – subject to them meeting essential safety criteria – to partner with existing PCN and pharmacy providers to host roving Covid-19 vaccination clinics,’ the letter said.

It comes after Dr Nikita Kanani, NHS England’s medical director for primary care, said last month that individual practices could soon deliver jabs directly to their communities in religious buildings and community centres.

Commissioning arrangements

The letter said that where a temporary venue is commissioned, the arrangements must include confirmation of how patients will be invited to the clinic and a definition of the population who will be invited to take up vaccinations.  

If this is likely to include eligible patients who are registered with another practice outside the PCN grouping that is being commissioned, the commissioner should inform the relevant practices that the extra option is being offered to boost uptake, it added.

Providers commissioned to deliver jabs from one of the temporary clinics will receive the £12.58 fee per vaccination, NHS England said.

It added that the provider would be responsible for transporting the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and any associated consumables to the venue.

The letter also said that most venues were likely to be free of charge, but some running costs may be reimbursable and funded through the Reasonable Additional Costs fund.

Any reimbursement must be agreed by CCGs and local commissioners and paid through regions, it said.

The standard operating procedure will also be updated ‘in due course’ to include the temporary vaccination clinic model.