The official plan describing the system for arranging coronavirus vaccinations for community-based care workers in England has been published.
The Department of Health and Social Care has notified employers of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for frontline social care workers, which provides a framework for local systems to identify the eligible cohort of staff and the arrangements that should be put in place to enable them to access their COVID-19 vaccination.
It states that Local Vaccination Services and Vaccination Centres will work alongside hospital hubs to support access to vaccination and take responsibility for enabling COVID-19 vaccine delivery to all individuals, including home care workers and personal assistants, in priority group 2, as identified by the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
This SOP does not apply to frontline social care workers within the JCVI priority cohort 1 – those who work within CQC-registered residential settings for older adults.
United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) has advised providers to familiarise themselves with the SOP. However, it said local councils and the NHS are working “at speed” to establish vaccination arrangements in local areas and there may be some regional variation in the timing and details of delivery approaches.
The SOP also lays out actions for social care employers, including ensuring all relevant staff members receive the national offer for vaccination from Public Health England, consent form, vaccine informational leaflets, local notice of eligibility and information about how to access vaccinations.
It states that care providers should also provide relevant information to the Local Authority and system partners to enable logistical and operational planning for the vaccination of eligible staff, and “actively support” access to vaccination, recognising the benefits to the safety of staff and clients.
To read the SOP in full, click here.