The Covid-19 vaccine

The vaccination programmes are managed by the health departments in each UK country or crown dependency. Information on arrangements for each territory can be found in the FAQs below.

CSP vaccine policy statement

The CSP supports vaccination as a key public health intervention which saves lives and reduces the chances of debilitating long-term illnesses including Covid.

Vaccines are tested and shown to be both safe and effective. We therefore encourage all members and patients for whom vaccinations are recommended to be vaccinated.

We recognise, however, that a person’s individual state of health, or personal beliefs, may mean that vaccination is not appropriate for everyone. We therefore believe that vaccination should remain voluntary.

In prioritising vaccine programmes we believe that the disproportionate health outcomes for Black and Asian people should be considered as a significant risk factor. People from BAME backgrounds should have a higher priority for Covid vaccination.

We support members across all sectors in delivering vaccination programmes, but believe vaccination programmes and services should seek to minimise impacts on vital patient care. We therefore welcome initiatives to use the independent sector and returners to the profession as vaccinators.

We welcome the acceptance of governments that all frontline health and care staff, regardless of which sector they work in, should be high priorities for Covid vaccination. We also believe this should apply to students on placements involving face to face patient contact.

When will I be able to receive the vaccine?

This will depend on where you live, work or learn.

England

Under new NHS operational guidance, NHS hospitals will act as vaccination hubs for both NHS workers and healthcare professionals working in the independent and voluntary sectors. Booked slots are being proposed where possible.

NHS employers will manage the call-up of NHS staff, while local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will collate non-NHS names for call-up.

Some CCGs have already started contacting larger independent providers for details of staff requiring vaccination. Details of how other non-NHS practitioners can register with CCGs will vary by locality.

Members are advised to check their local CCG websites next week for further information on local arrangements

Some CCGs are reluctant for registration details to be in the public domain. When this is the case, the CSP is offering to circulate these to members via our regional network bulletins. You will need to have signed up to CSP regional emails to receive this advice. Members can do this through their CSP website profile.

For physiotherapists who regularly visit patients in care homes, homes will be asked to provide the names of those who regularly work on their premises to treat their residents. We would therefore advise you to speak to the manager of the home to ask if they can add you to their list.

Wales

The Welsh Government has agreed that all healthcare workers, across all sectors, should receive the vaccine in line with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advice.

Health Boards are responsible for vaccinations and will call up NHS staff. The target date for rolling out vaccinations to HCPs is mid-February. The arrangements for calling up non-NHS practitioners are yet to be announced.

Northern Ireland

The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) is responsible for the coordination of the vaccine roll-out in Northern Ireland. HSC staff should access vaccination through their employer organisation.

HCPC-registered independent practitioners will be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccination via the Trust-based programme using the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

A digital booking platform has been established for this purpose and they will be able to book an appointment at a time and location convenient to them. This can be at any Trust vaccination site with availability on their preferred date.
 
CSP members in Northern Ireland will receive details of how to register via a direct CSP communication.  

In order to access the vaccination centre for your appointment, you will need to bring your Health and Care Number, Photographic ID and hard copy proof of HCPC registration. This must match the detail provided on booking.

Scotland

It appears that the health boards in Scotland are being asked to ensure that vaccinations are available and they are beginning to put processes in place.

The CSP has been advised that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Highland have now begun vaccination registration for independent healthcare professionals. We will, of course, continue to seek updates from other health boards and will share this information with members as and when it becomes available.

Crown dependencies 

Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are following the same approach as the UK. Physios and physio support workers across all sectors are in the second tier of priority for vaccinations.

Isle of Man

NHS staff should seek advice through their employer. Members working outside the Manx NHS should call 111 and register as a tier two healthcare worker.

Channel Islands

The CSP has asked the public health authorities in Guernsey and Jersey to clarify arrangements for members across all sectors. Updates will be posted here.


I work in the NHS, can I support the COVID 19 Vaccination Programme?

Yes. Your NHS Trust or Board will confirm to their staff who is able to contribute to the vaccination programme in your organisation, and how you can do this. You should discuss this with your line manager.

In Northern Ireland there may be opportunities to undertake additional paid work.


I work outside the NHS, can I contribute to the vaccination programme?

It depends where you work. Any role will be as bank or temporary NHS employee or as work contracted with GPs.

England

Professionals are managing the England-wide recruitment campaign.

Wales

In Wales we recommend non-NHS practitioners looking for paid roles use these heath board links to express their interest:

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland additional staff were recruited before Christmas and are not currently being recruited. The CSP has highlighted non-NHS practitioners as a potential source of additional staffing to the health department.

Scotland

At this time the Scottish Government is confident that they have adequate numbers of vaccinators and support staff in place to deliver their vaccination plan, having recently trained a large cohort. They are therefore not looking to recruit at this stage.


I am not currently working but would like to return to support the vaccination programme. How do I do this?

Arrangements vary by country. Depending on what role you wish to undertake you may need to be HCPC-registered.

England

  • NHS Professionals are managing the recruitment campaign.  
  • NHS Trust staff banks may also advertise for roles to support their vaccination programme.

Wales

In Wales there are opportunities for returners to either work in the vaccination programme or to volunteer:

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland additional staff were recruited before Christmas and are not currently being recruited. The CSP has highlighted non-NHS practitioners as a potential source of additional staffing to the health department.

Scotland

At this time the Scottish Government is confident that it has adequate numbers of vaccinators and support staff in place to deliver its vaccination plan, having recently trained a large cohort. It is therefore not looking to recruit at this stage.


The role I am applying for requires HCPC registration and I am no longer registered. How do I rejoin the register?

See our FAQs on Joining the 2021 COVID response NHS workforce


Is vaccination within my scope of practice and therefore covered by my CSP PLI?

Where you are providing Covid-19 vaccines as part of a vaccination programme or standalone vaccination clinic, you would not be undertaking this as a physiotherapy activity but rather as a capable individual who is well-placed to contribute to a local programme. You can do this, but you must be clear that it is not in the context of physiotherapy practice. In this situation you would not be covered by your CSP professional liability insurance (PLI).

However, anyone enlisted to support the Covid vaccination programme will be employed by the NHS either as part of their substantive role, via a staff bank or NHS Professionals. All members contributing will therefore be covered by their employer’s insurance; your employer holds the liability for your work. To be clear, you should have some documentation that shows your employer requires you to undertake Covid-19 vaccination as part of your role.


What training should I have undertaken to offer vaccinations?

You do not need to be a prescriber or a qualified injection therapist to deliver vaccinations by subcutaneous and/or intramuscular injection. However, you must ensure that you have the knowledge, skills and competence to do so. If you contribute to the vaccination programme, you will be employed by the NHS. The NHS Trust or Board in which you work is responsible for providing you with the necessary training.


What about the impact on my physiotherapy workload?

It is appropriate that physiotherapists use their capabilities to support the wider NHS workforce, but it is important that organisations take account of the impact this may have on patients accessing physiotherapy services.

It will be an organisational decision as to which service takes priority, and how staff are deployed to deliver services

If you are employed in NHS services and you are asked to allocate working time to provide vaccination clinics, you should consider the interruption this may have on your physiotherapy workload.


What is the CSP's position on when a second dose of the vaccine should be given?

We understand some members are concerned by the revised timescale of receiving a second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, however this recommendation is based on the most current and up to date evidence as reviewed by the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI).
       
The JCVI advice is, at this stage, the best available advice on how to maximise the health benefits of using available vaccines for the whole population. So, based on current evidence, the CSP does not oppose this change. Should any new evidence emerge to the contrary we will review, and may change, our advice.


As a physiotherapy student, am I entitled to the Covid-19 vaccine and when will I receive it?

See the latest answer to this question at in the student FAQs section.


Further resources:

Versus Arthritis have also produced some FAQs and useful information on their website which can be found here - Versus Arthritis Vaccine Information

 ARMA - Principles for COVID-19 vaccination in MSK and Rheumatology for clinicians

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