GP networks delivering Covid vaccinations are encouraged to train up non-clinical staff to help giving jabs, and can use additional roles recruitment scheme (ARRS) funding to do so, NHS England has said.
This was one of the messages in a webinar for GPs about the practicalities surrounding the Covid vaccination programme, which in England will be GP-led and centred around primary care networks (PCNs).
Speaking in the webinar, NHS England director of primary care contracts Ed Waller said that ‘those who are employed on the ARRS are a resource to the PCN like any other member of staff’ and that PCNs can ‘deploy as [they] see fit’ to what needs doing ‘day to day’ and as well as for ‘this new programme’.
‘So there’s absolutely no bar on the use of ARRS-funded staff taking part in this programme’, he added.
He also suggested this could include non-clinical ARRS staff being trained to administer vaccinations.
This comes as the UK Government has updated legislation to ensure a wider range of staff can give vaccinations for both Covid and flu – including paramedics and physios.
Mr Waller said said: ‘Because of the arrangements that there will be around a national protocol for vaccination that allows non-clinicians to get involved too that – and some of the other roles in a vaccination team that are non-clinical – means that there is plenty of opportunity for some of the non-clinically qualified AR staff also to be part of the programme.
‘That is absolutely something we think everyone should be thinking of and all of the funding entitlements around ARRS are still there and in place, so we would encourage people to keep trying to recruit because having more people on board at this moment we think is going to be important.’
GPs in England have been asked to be prepared to start administering Covid vaccinations from as early as 1 December, under NHS England’s new enhanced service.
It comes as pharma giant Pfizer reported successful phase 3 trial results yesterday and said it intends to seek regulatory approval within days in the US, and share results with regulators across the world.
A version of this story first appeared in our sister title Pulse.