Programme update for COVID-19 Vaccination in Cheshire and Merseyside

Over the past few weeks, the COVID-19 vaccine began to be administered to patients by three Hospital Hubs and last week saw the rollout by groups of GP practices, known as Primary Care Networks (PCNs) as people aged over 80 and NHS frontline staff in hospitals were invited to receive the immunisation.

Local Vaccination Centres in GP Practices and community centres at over 30 locations immunised over 1300 patients in the first two days.

Further vaccination centres will be rolled out over the coming weeks in GP practices, community venues and pharmacies. Each one will be vaccinating eligible patients from across their local area – as opposed to just patients registered at their own practice. All eligible patients are being contacted directly in accordance with the prioritised list advised by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

The start of this vaccination Programme is a significant step forwards in the fight against COVID-19, a great deal of planning, coordination and resource has gone on over the past few weeks across the Partnership to help ensure that Cheshire and Merseyside’s health and care system is prepared for rollout.

The vaccine currently being used (Pfizer/BioNTech) has very specific storage and transportation requirements, so the initial focus has been those 80 years of age and over who can visit a centre in person. Housebound patients and care home residents will be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Recruitment

To ensure each region is ready when the vaccine becomes available, Clinical and non-clinical staff and volunteers are being sought to safely and successfully vaccinate people without impacting on other vital services.  The first Community Vaccination Centre in Cheshire and Merseyside will be located in the Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens, Merseyside.

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (STHK) has been selected as the ‘Lead Employer’ for the mass COVID-19 vaccination programme across the Cheshire and Merseyside areas. STHK will be responsible for establishing, running and staffing Community Vaccination Centres in locations across each region.

The jobs on offer will include a mixture of clinical and non-clinical roles, available as fixed term contracts and casual worker agreements, as well as volunteer opportunities.

All Cheshire and Merseyside applicants should be directed to https://recruitment.sthk.nhs.uk where they can find out the latest information about the roles available in each vaccination centre location.

Communications

The Partnership is working closely with local teams to share locally produced ‘myth-busting’ content to combat misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine, using trusted voices from the health and care system and social media visuals.

This content will be appearing on the Partnership’s social media feed and you are encouraged to share this with friends, family and colleagues.