Immunisation is one of the greatest health successes of the last century with many benefits for individuals and communities. Before vaccines were available, many children in the UK died from diseases such as whooping cough, measles, and polio. The paper referenced aims to provide an overview of SCW’s Improving Immunisation Uptake Team (IIU) initiative - how it began and how the service has evolved since its inception.
The objective of the Improving Immunisation Uptake Team (IIU) initiative was to utilise Child Health Information Services (CHIS) GP-level data and clinical input to improve vaccination uptake in 0-5-year-olds, with a particular focus on under-served children and communities in the Thames Valley.
The pilot IIU initiative delivered a significant reduction in the variation of immunisation uptake across the Thames Valley and an overall increase in uptake of childhood immunisations.
The paper is not an academic report, but an opportunity to share with key stakeholders working in immunisation, the lessons learned from the initiative and the challenges/successes that came from it. We hope it will be of particular interest to our colleagues in primary care, who are working directly in the immunisation field eg GP’s, Health Visitors, Practice Nurses, and School Health Nurses.
Wider audiences such as commissioners, Primary Care Networks, Integrated Care Systems, and NHSEI local and regional teams, may also benefit from the lessons learned. The lessons learned apply not just to childhood immunisations but other public health initiatives such as the national flu/COVID19 programmes and screening.
Due to the success of the IIU initiative, it was recommissioned by NHSEI across the Thames Valley in September 2019 and uptake rates across the Thames Valley have continued to increase. The IIU team adapted their service model further during COVID19, to ensure the support provided to practices continued and uptake rates were maintained.