NHS Health Call has developed a new COVID-19 and flu booster booking app for health and care professionals following new Government guidance issued last week.

Health Call is a digital health company owned by seven NHS Foundation Trusts in the North East and Cumbria that was set up to share resources to drive down operational costs of health and care provision, whilst improving outcomes for all. The vast majority of the UK population has received a COVID-19 vaccine since the vaccine programme was launched in December 2020.To maintain this high level of protection through the coming winter the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is advising that booster vaccines be offered to those more at risk from serious disease and who were vaccinated during Phase 1 of the vaccine programme (priority groups 1 to 9) . This includes health and social care workers who have been at the frontline during the pandemic.

Health Call has developed a new booking system so that frontline staff can book their own booster vaccine appointment online. The employer sends a link to their staff members so they can select their appointments at a time that is convenient to them. Staff access the booking form via a link from where they can choose a clinic site – they will then receive a confirmation email with a link to cancel the appointment if necessary and receive two reminders prior to the appointment. The COVID Staff Vaccination Booster Booking platform is part of a package of digital solutions which support how organisations are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. In December 2020, Health Call launched a COVID Self-Testing App which allowed staff to report potential COVID infections before the start of their shift, and allowed organisations to report nationally. It also launched a Staff Vaccine Booking app as part of the first vaccine roll out to frontline health and care staff.

In total six trusts are going live with the service which includes County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

Ian Dove, Director at Health Call said: “This is a new solution we have developed and are rapidly rolling out in line with JCVI guidance issued last week so that trusts can start administering booster jabs for staff. We are delighted to be once again working with our partners on this project.“

The trusts are having to work rapidly to implement this system, so Health Call is supporting them to enable this. With the contract we have signed, all NHS trusts in the North East and North Cumbria can use this app and we are expecting more trusts to go live in the next few weeks.”