Queen Mary’s Clinical Effectiveness Group (CEG) is collaborating with the NHS in North East London, providing intelligence to inform the logistics of the immunisation campaign and software tools to ease the burden for GPs.
The Polio Booster Campaign requires every child in London aged 1 to 9 years old to be offered a polio-containing vaccine before 25 September 2022, following the discovery of poliovirus samples in London sewage. For some children, the campaign will offer an additional dose of the vaccine on top of their routine immunisations. For other children it will bring them up to date. The campaign aims to boost immunity for all children aged 1 to 9 years old (who are most at risk due to lower levels of antibodies and poorer hygiene), disrupt community transmission of the virus, and prevent cases of paralysis which poliovirus can cause. The logistics to deliver these immunisations at scale and within an urgent timeframe are complex.
Within five working days of the campaign announcement, CEG provided business intelligence to immunisation leads at NHS North East London Health and Care Partnership, including analyses of patient record data by practice, Primary Care Network and Commissioning Board, to plan the number of vaccines required. Meanwhile, CEG’s primary care facilitators are assisting GP practice teams on the ground. They have provided patient record searches that enable practices to plan their capacity to deliver the doses, a digital template to update patient records with standardised codes (so campaign activity can be measured), and guidance for using CEG’s childhood immunisation software tool ‘APL-Imms’ to prioritise the most vulnerable children - those who are already behind on their routine immunisation schedule or who are not immunised against polio at all.
As a non-commercial organisation, CEG is sharing its coding, methods and resources with NHS England and with NHS teams across London to assist other regions with their urgent response to the polio threat. CEG is also working at pace in collaboration with key stakeholders within North East London to identify other ways to support practices and to plan how the success of the campaign will be monitored.