Childhood vaccinations campaign launches in the Thames Valley

A pilot project has been launched this week by our Child Health Information Service (CHIS), to help to increase uptake of immunisations among children from 0 to 5 years in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

The project is being led by a dedicated team who will be based in Didcot. The team of two clinicians, Lorraine Meadows and Vivien Gardner, and a data analyst, Roberta Sim, will be working closely with GP practices in the Thames Valley, to identify areas of low take up of childhood immunisations.

The 12 month pilot project has been commissioned by NHS England.

Sue Trinder, SCW CHIS director, said: “Although many areas in the Thames Valley area are meeting national targets, there are small pockets, where we need to work with parents, GPs and other health professionals to increase uptake of childhood immunisations.

“In particular, the team will look at increasing uptake of pre-school boosters, which children receive at the age of three years and four months, to protect against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and measles, mumps and rubella.

“We’ve recruited three very experienced members of staff to lead on this take-up campaign”.

Lorraine Meadows is a qualified health visitor and Vivien Gardner an experienced practice nurse – each has worked in the NHS for more than 30 years and are the joint immunisation leads on the project.  Roberta Sim will be responsible for data analysis and has worked for SCW CHIS for nearly 10 years.

Sue continued: “The team will be looking at GP surgery data carefully to try and find out why there might be a lower uptake of vaccinations in some areas than others. This will mean working with GP surgeries to encourage best practice around childhood immunisation and reaching out to parents to remind them of the importance for their child’s health in getting them protected.”

Below from left to right: The CHIS immunisation team. Roberta Sim Vivien Gardner and Lorraine Meadows

Roberta Sim Vivien Gardner and Lorraine Meadows

NHS England South East added that it is important that all children who are eligible for immunisations receive all doses of the required vaccines to gain optimum protection at the appropriate age.

They will have the support of the wider SCW CHIS service which collects data from healthcare professionals for children aged 0 to 19.

Director of Child Health Information Services (CHIS)