Care groups call for daily data on numbers of care home residents vaccinated

Care groups have called on the NHS to publish daily breakdowns on how many people in priority groups, including care home residents, have received a coronavirus vaccine.

From Monday, the NHS started publishing daily updates on how many vaccinations have taken place across England.

But these do not give the breakdowns for how many vaccines have gone to each of the priority groups as set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

These include elderly care home residents and their carers, adults aged 80 and over, frontline health and social care workers, adults aged 75 and over, adults aged 70 and over and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

There is also currently no data on how many jabs have been offered to residents or staff and which have been declined.

While politicians have given ad-hoc updates on what percentage of residents have received the jab, care groups want daily updates and say the current lack of detail “seems unhelpful in the extreme”.

This will help them see whether the Government is on track to have offered the vaccine to all care home residents by the end of January, and to have offered jabs to all in the top four priority groups by mid-February.

Vic Rayner, executive director of the National Care Forum, said progress over the past few weeks is “very positive” but there is a lack of key data relating to the JCVI priority groups.

She said: “The PM has told us that all care home residents will be vaccinated by the end of January, and that the top four priority groups will be vaccinated by the middle of February.

“However, Government has provided a public-facing reporting system that does not explicitly measure or share this, which seems unhelpful in the extreme.

“A key learning from this pandemic has been how essential it is to keep a public focus on Government targets – and this data set appears to offer nothing in the facilitation of that transparency.”

The latest update on care home vaccinations came from Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who told Monday evening’s Downing Street press conference that almost a quarter of residents had received a jab.

Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said: “Although slow to get off the ground, the vaccine rollout to care homes has started in earnest which is encouraging.

“Real-time data, which should include an analysis of the number of vaccines for care home residents and staff would be extremely useful in the national fight against Covid.”

The NHS is due to publish a more detailed weekly breakdown of vaccinations in England starting from Thursday.

The PA news agency has asked the NHS for clarity on what this will include.