The way immunisations are carried out in Aberdeen is to be given a shake up – with plans to use churches and community halls in the works.
It was announced in 2017 that vaccinations would be moved away from being carried out in GP surgeries in order to help reduce workload. By 2022, the requirement for administering vaccinations will fall to the Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership (ACHSCP).
The ACHSCP hopes to improve uptake levels for jabs, which is one of the drivers for the planned changes.
A report tracking the progress of the partnership will be heard at a meeting of Aberdeen City Council’s Integration Joint Board next week.
It states the key objectives of the service redesign are to implement a new model of delivery, ensure any transformation in delivery is achieved without any adverse impact on safety or sustainability of current or existing vaccination programmes, ensure the necessary systems are in place to support new models of delivery, ensure they are sufficiently resourced and sustainable and to improve uptake across the city.
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Gail Woodcock, transformation lead at ACHSCP, said: “The redesign of the immunisation service will see a change from several disparate teams to a single team working across the three HSCP locality areas.
“The core team will administer pre-school, school and adult immunisations throughout the year, and this will be supplemented by wider nursing workforce during peak immunisation delivery periods.
“The development of an immunisation team allows increased consistency in programme delivery enabling the implementation of city-wide protocols covering discussion, recording and follow-up with patients and parents on immunisation.
“The proposed structure seeks to maximise the time that nursing staff can spend delivering immunisations, with support being put in place from business support and public health teams to coordinate delivery and provide health promotion support.”
Under new plans, routine immunisations for adults and secondary age children will be delivered from several community hubs rather than at doctors surgeries.
An agreement has been reached with Aberdeen City Council’s education department to deliver school-age immunisations within primary schools, and plans for mass immunisations such as flu jabs and a Covid-19 vaccine will be delivered in a number of community spaces, such as sports halls, churches and any other large venues that can allow for social distancing.
The report also outlines the changes to flu vaccinations due to Covid-19.
On August 7, it was announced those offered immunisations would be increased this year, to include everyone over 55, which may increase to those over 50 depending on availability, and all those identified as shielding or living in a household with someone shielding.
This will mean the number of flu vaccinations is anticipated to increase by around 35%.
Total costs expected for 2020/21 around the programme of redesigning immunisations is expected to be £1,245,385, with an additional estimated cost of £35,000 due to Covid-19.