The national COVID-19 vaccination programme has become the largest ever vaccine deployment strategy the NHS has ever undertaken. The programme has been developed to ensure that those most at risk of displaying severe symptoms of the virus, or transmitting infection to the vulnerable, are provided with protection. Today, more than 1500 vaccination sites are in operation across the country. Three vaccines have been approved for use in the UK, with the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs currently offered.
A monumental moment came on 8th December 2020, when the first UK resident was given the COVID-19 vaccine. And on 13th February 2021, the programme hit its initial target of providing a first dose to 15 million people, a full two days ahead of schedule.
However, it may not all be smooth sailing. The Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has voiced concerns that the rollout of the next stage of the programme will fail to meet public expectations due to the logistical challenges that now lie ahead.
Delivering such an extensive vaccination programme like this comes with many challenges, particularly in arranging for the right vaccines, the right staff, and the right patients to be in the right place, at the right time. This issue is exacerbated by the peculiarities of the two vaccines currently offered in the UK; multi dose, non-preserved medicines that are largely unheard of. These vaccines must be deployed effectively and efficiently, while the NHS not only works to support COVID-19 patients, but also the reinstatement of routine medical services that had previously been frozen or limited.
And this must all be achieved in the midst of a global health crisis, when staff absences due to sickness, exposure to the virus, and childcare issues are at an all time high.
In a joint letter to systems from Sue Harriman in November last year, the COVID-19 Vaccination Deployment Programme COO emphasises the importance of improved workforce management in navigating the challenges of rolling out the strategy.
‘Having appropriately trained and committed staff deployed at the right time and in the right place is at the heart of our ability to deliver the vaccine safely. This needs to be achieved while managing competing workforce needs across all NHS activities’.
Hyre can help
Hyre is a complete digital solution that has been purpose built for the NHS to support the national Vaccination Programme and help to better establish workforce coordination at ICS level. Following a rigorous due diligence process, Hyre was recently announced as an approved supplier by NHS England for the new Primary Care Flexible Staff Pools contract launched in December that is anticipated to play a significant role in streamlining vaccine deployment through strategic staffing schedules and rotas.
Hyre aims to make it simple and cost-effective for vaccination centres and sites to build flexible staff banks and roster staff across different locations as needed. The app can:
- Help systems build digital staff banks of all salaried and locum workers
- Roster staff by profession and skill, and ensure suitable deployment across sites
- Ensure systems remain clinically compliant with easy access to all staff data
- Track spend by grade and location to keep hiring costs within budget
- Enable staff to self-manage rotas to set availability and swap shifts as needed
At Hyre, we are proud to be supporting vaccination programmes across the UK, providing effective, efficient solutions to many of the most pressing challenges and potential obstacles standing in the way of protecting health and wellbeing. Get started now.