The NHS is hoping to carry out up to 3,000 covid vaccinations a day at the Brighton Centre in the next six months.
A council report published today says the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust has been granted a licence to use the seafront conference centre from December 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, and possibly until May.
The Brighton Centre would be the main location for the city, with a number of smaller sites also anticipated.
Meanwhile, the trust is recruiting thousands of vaccinators and volunteers to deliver the programme in Sussex.
The report, published half an hour before this afternoon’s policy and resources committee which has already noted it, says: “Discussions took place with the trust over November.
“These discussions were set within the context of the developing and dynamic situation in terms of Government direction and the availability of a vaccination which has Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approval for deployment across the country.
“The Brighton Centre is considered ideal by the trust for city vaccination plans. The unique qualities of the venue include its location and size which would enable the majority of the city’s population to be vaccinated.
“The trust see the Brighton Centre as the vaccination location for Brighton and Hove and more widely, although it is anticipated there will be a number of smaller sites elsewhere to ensure that the population of Sussex will be fully covered.
“The trust has sought to secure an occupation agreement for the Brighton Centre from 1 December 2020 until the 31 March 2021. The peak of the programme could be vaccinating 3,000 citizens per day.
“The trust would also welcome the possibility to discuss the occupation of the Brighton Centre beyond the end of March if it were to be available, to meet any ongoing needs within the vaccination programme.”
The estimated value of the licence up to 31 March 2021 is £740,000 with the potential for extending the arrangement into April/May 2021.
The income will help the council with the ongoing operational costs of maintaining the building.
At the moment, the government is providing a grant to cover 75 per cent of income losses.
Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, which is the lead provider for the vaccination programme across Sussex, will be responsible for co-ordinating and managing the programme, as well as some of the delivery alongside GPs.
NHS staff are expected to be drafted in to administer the vaccine from hospital, community and ambulance trusts , where doing so will not affect patient care, but thousands more will be needed to ensure the health service can vaccinate millions of people quickly when supplies are available.
Parliament recently changed the law to allow a wider group of people to undertake training to deliver vaccines.
This wider group includes many allied health professionals like paramedics and physios, pharmacy and dental professionals, and healthcare scientists – many of who currently work outside the NHS.
Others who have first aid qualifications and can complete appropriate training are also allowed to vaccinate under the temporary legal measures, and recruitment efforts will target those likely to have been furloughed or recently made redundant such as airline cabin crew and support staff from industries such as sports, events and security.
In all cases, appropriate training, supervision and PPE will be provided to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and patients.
A combination of primary care staff and other existing NHS vaccination teams will be the first to vaccinate those who the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) decide should be the priority groups to get protected, which is expected to be care home residents and staff, followed by NHS and social care staff and people over 80.
As eligibility is widened out and community and large-scale vaccination centres are set up to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible, more trained vaccinators will be required, as well as stewards, administrators and patient transport and liaison volunteers.
The NHS will also be working with St John Ambulance to establish a bank of thousands of volunteers, drawing from their own members as well as the hundreds of thousands of people who are already signed up to the NHS Volunteer Responders scheme, who have collectively completed more than a million tasks for vulnerable and isolated people.
Vaccinator and other paid roles will be offered on a flexible basis so that people can fit helping out around other work, caring and family responsibilities. Initial preference will be given to those who are able to commit a minimum of 16 hours per week.
All staff and volunteers will get training, assessment, supervision and PPE to ensure their safety and that of patients.
If you can help, apply here www.sussexcommunity.nhs.uk/work-with-us/covid19vaccine.htm.
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