In 2022 a permanent amendment was made to Schedule 17 of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 to allow occupational health vaccinators working within an NHS body or a local authority operated occupational health scheme to administer influenza or coronavirus vaccines in accordance with a Written Instruction. An occupational health vaccinator is a listed professional (see below) who is employed or engaged by a person operating an occupational health scheme.
Independent and other organisations may use a written instruction administer influenza or coronavirus vaccines as part of an occupational health scheme only registered nurses can operate under a written instruction.
NHS body or Local Authority occupational health vaccinators
The following professions can acts as NHS body or Local Authority occupational health vaccinators:
- Registered nurses
- Registered midwives
- Registered nursing associates
- Operating department practitioners, paramedics or physiotherapists registered in Part 13, 8 or 9 of the Health and Care Professions Council register
Independent or other organisation staff groups
Within independent or other organisations, only registered nurses can administer under a written instruction. Occupational health vaccinators cannot operate within non NHS/local authority provided services.
Authorisation within organisations
Authorisation of written instructions within organisations requires the signature of an appropriate registered doctor before they can be used.
- The written instruction can be adopted by organisations following the signed authorisation of the written instruction by an appropriate doctor.
- This medical signatory must be the doctor assuming responsibility for the delivery of the influenza vaccination programme to staff within an organisation.
- This should be an Occupational Health Physician employed by the organisation but where there is no such doctor employed/contracted by the organisation it should be the doctor assuming responsibility for the delivery of the influenza vaccination programme to staff within the organisation (for example the organisation’s Medical Director).
Use within organisations
Once signed and adopted, the written instruction allows named registered healthcare professionals included in the legislation to administer the seasonal influenza vaccination to the organisation’s staff, including peer to peer vaccinators. Vaccinators must be trained and competent to work in accordance with the written instruction.
Template Written Instructions for ‘flu vaccination 2022/23
It is anticipated that SPS will develop written instruction templates for ‘flu vaccination and these will be published on this page in late Spring/early Summer 2022 once the required national advice on the vaccination of healthcare workers has been published and the required governance processes completed.
Written Instruction supporting advice
A factsheet to support the use of the written instruction by organisations and additional advice which is specific to GP practices can be found below.
PGDs within Occupational Health Services
Further advice on the use of PGDs within Occupational Health Services is available in a separate article.