More than 700 pharmacy staff apply to join NHS COVID-19 vaccination team

Exclusive: There have been 715 applications from pharmacy staff to join the NHS COVID-19 vaccination team, which supplies additional workforce to COVID-19 vaccination sites in England.
Pharmacist administering COVID-19 vaccine

Open access article

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has made this article free to access in order to help healthcare professionals stay informed about an issue of national importance.

To learn more about coronavirus, please visit: https://www.rpharms.com/resources/pharmacy-guides/wuhan-novel-coronavirus

Some 715 pharmacy staff members have applied to vaccinate patients as part of the NHS’s COVID-19 vaccine team.

The team, which is being led by NHS Professionals— a government-owned temporary staff bank — supplies additional workforce to COVID-19 vaccination sites across England.

To join the COVID-19 vaccine team, applications can be submitted for the roles of vaccinator, registered healthcare professional (RHCP) and RHCP clinical supervisor.

NHS Professionals told The Pharmaceutical Journal that it has received “715 applications associated with someone registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)”.

According to the NHS Professionals website, a GPhC registration is required for the RHCP and RHCP clinical supervisor roles.

The clinical supervisor role requires added training or experience “in a clinical supervisory position”, in addition to registration with a professional healthcare body.

Pharmacy staff were initially unable to apply for a role on the team as an RHCP because registration with the GPhC was not listed as an option in the online application form.

Claire Anderson, chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s English Pharmacy Board, said: “It’s great to see pharmacists stepping up to support the national COVID-19 vaccination programme, showing just how vital a role our profession is playing.

“Pharmacists and their teams have been working hard across hospital, GP practice and community settings, leading at vaccination centres across the country, to ensure as many at-risk patients [as possible] are vaccinated against COVID-19.”

The application process involves “completion of vetting and work checks, occupational health screening and a short recorded video interview submission or clinical interview”, the NHS Professionals website says.

However, it adds that current NHS trust staff should not to apply to join the vaccination team.

“There will be an opportunity for you to support the vaccination programme but these roles will be available to you via your current NHS trust who will be in touch at the appropriate time,” it says.

Successful applicants are provided with the necessary training by NHS Professionals and paid up to £16.04 per hour.

The NHS England website notes that there are “tens of thousands who applied and trained for a vaccination role and are ready to vaccinate”.

“Your local NHS trust will be in contact when the need for additional vaccinators arise — this is dependent on local availability of vaccine supplies,” it says.

Last updated
Citation
The Pharmaceutical Journal, January 2021;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2021.20208750