“I would like to unreservedly recommend the Improving Immunisation Uptake Team as we found their support invaluable in increasing our immunisation uptake figures. Initial meetings including all stakeholders helped us to identify problem areas and find solutions for problems such as missing immunisation histories. We have changed our new registration pack, giving new applicants full information on what we require to ensure complete patient records. We have assigned the task of managing immunisations to a specific administrator who is using tools provided by the Improving Immunisations Team and Child Health. The databases provided support for the practice to monitor and follow up children with missing immunisations. We have changed our process to follow up by telephone rather than by letter and are finding this more effective. It has also helped to identify and deregister ghost patients. The CHIS team have met and are supporting the new practice nurse for administration of immunisations. Many thanks again to the Immunisations Team for your support.” Louise Upton, Practice Manager South Reading and Shinfield Group Medical Practice https://www.srssurgery.co.uk/

The Improving Immunisation Uptake (IIU) team comprises of two clinicians and a data administrator who work directly with GP Practices across the Thames Valley to improve the uptake of childhood immunisations.

The aim was to reduce the significant variation in immunisation uptake between GP practices across the Thames Valley and increase overall immunisation rates to achieve effective health protection for children.

The results of this year long initiative which was funded by NHS England have been extremely positive. At the start of this initiative in July 2018, the variation in immunisation uptake amongst GP Practices across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire (BOB) ranged from 40% to 94%. To achieve herd immunity and provide adequate protection to both individuals and the wider community, all GP Practices should be achieving an immunisation uptake rate of 95%. By May 2019, so less than a year later, the original variation had been reduced significantly with all GP Practices across BOB achieving at least 80% uptake and with 90% of GP Practices achieving over 85% immunisation uptake and 5% of GP Practices achieving over 95%. With support from the IIUT some practices have seen an increase of over 20% in their statistics.

Variation in immunisation rates

This success is illustrated in the monthly tracker above of immunisation uptake in Thames Valley GP Practices.  In June 2018, immunisation uptake rates ranged between 40% and 90%, whereas by June 2019 all Thames Valley GP Practices were achieving immunisation uptake rates at or above 80%.