Vaccination Transformation Programme

In Scotland, we are redesigning and modernising the delivery of local vaccination services. The Vaccination Transformation Programme (VTP) began on 1 April 2018 and will run for three years. It forms one of the six strands of the Primary Care Transformation Programme. New models will be developed, tested and implemented, but will only become operational when it is safe and sustainable to do so.

You can find out more about the programme on the Primary Care Transformation website (external website).

Here you can find information on the purpose of the VTP, objectives, workstreams and whom to contact in your area for further details.

Purpose of the VTP

Professionals within Health and Social Care Partnerships, Integration Joint Boards, and Health Boards need to work together in redesigning and delivering local vaccination services. These services should be based on the needs of the local population, geography and workforce.

Service commissioners and planners must engage with members of the public to understand how services can be improved to meet their needs. The Scottish Government vision states that 

‘Ensuring the health of the Scottish public through modernising the delivery of vaccinations, empowering local decision making and supporting the transformation of the role of the GP.’

Objectives of the VTP

The main objectives are to

  • work with NHS Boards, Primary Care and others as necessary to develop and test proposals for future delivery of vaccination programmes, with a presumption that GPs / Primary Care will no longer be the default preferred provider
  • implement new models of delivery, based on local decision-making and leadership, and establish new operational arrangements as business as usual
    ensure any transformation in delivery is achieved without any adverse impact on safety or sustainability of existing vaccination programmes
  • ensure the necessary systems and infrastructure (e.g. IT, data and premises) are in place to support new models of delivery
  • ensure new models of delivery are sufficiently resourced.

Workstreams of the VTP

The national VTP programme has six workstreams

  1. Stakeholder Communications and Engagement Group (SCEG)
  2. Information Systems (IS)
  3. Travel Health
  4. Business Change Management (BCM)
  5. Role of the Immunisation Coordinator
  6. Workforce.

Exploring public views of vaccination service delivery

Modernising vaccination services must include an understanding of patients’ views. This study explored vaccination service delivery and how it could better meet patients’ needs. The findings will help inform the redesign of adult services for influenza, shingles and pneumococcal vaccinations.

Recommendations included redesigning the system to be a more organised, efficient NHS system for all Scotland. This includes formal, personal invitations and an accessible appointment system. This should be supported by communications emphasising the seriousness of the diseases and consequences, using tailored communication systems to inform and encourage uptake.

Interventions to improve engagement with immunisation programmes in selected underserved populations

Underserved populations experience inequalities in health and are often undervaccinated, being at greater risk of vaccine-preventable diseases. During the VTP transition, it is important that vaccination coverage is maintained or improved, and the inequalities gap closes further.

Underserved populations covered by this review were selected by business change managers for VTP within local health boards through a prioritisation process, and include:

  • people from deprived areas
  • people whose first language is not English
  • Gypsy/Traveller communities
  • people with learning disabilities.

Information systems

A fundamental deliverable of the VTP is the continued provision of access to key clinical data to underpin safe immunisation programmes. Much of this data resides in GP IT systems.

Work has taken place to outline the data flows for the vaccination programmes. Further work is underway to identify the data access requirements and potential options for delivering a technical integration solution. In line with the Scottish Government’s Digital Strategy, the focus will be on utilising existing IT solutions whenever possible.

Travel health service

Protecting individuals from the risk of infectious disease abroad is another key areas of the VTP. 

A Travel Health Best Practice Guide is being developed to outline nationally agreed standards for the provision of pre-travel health assessment and services. These standards will include advice, vaccinations and prescriptions.

Additionally, there is work underway to develop a model of delivery which will ensure a consistent, transparent, and readily accessible travel health service across Scotland.

Contacts for the VTP

Key contacts for the VTP include

  • Senior Responsible Owner of the VTP - Gareth Brown, Scottish Government
  • VTP Manager – Nicola Kerr, Scottish Government
  • SCEG – Heather Williams, NHS Health Scotland
  • BCM & IS – Pam McVeigh, SG/Health Protection Scotland.

Business Change Managers have been identified in each territorial NHS Health Board. They will work with their local Health and Social Care partners and Integration Boards to redesign vaccination service delivery models.

To discuss the VTP development in your area, please contact your local Health Board's Business Change Manager.