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Safe and efficient arrangements in place for mass vaccinations, delivered by dedicated, hard-working staff

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) has today [27 May] published a summary of the findings from inspections of mass vaccination centres across Wales.

Throughout March 2021, we undertook a series of focused inspections, which included visits to eight mass vaccination centres. We examined the arrangements put in place at these centres across Wales, to manage the risks to people’s health and safety whilst attending for a vaccination. These inspection reports can be found on our website and we have presented national themes and findings in the form of a Quality Insight Bulletin.

As part of our work, patients and staff were invited to provide their feedback about any of the mass vaccination centres across Wales, not just the centres we visited. We received over 500 responses from people who had received their vaccination, and overall patient feedback was very positive. We also worked with the Community Health Councils (CHCs), who have sought feedback from people across Wales about their experience of receiving vaccinations.

Our inspection approach followed the patient journey through the vaccination process from pre-vaccination through to post vaccination and recovery.

Overall, we found that appropriate arrangements had been put in place by health boards to oversee the safe implementation of their vaccination programmes, despite the unique environments and the speed at which they have been mobilised and staffed. We saw positive examples of the safe management of COVID-19 vaccines, good infection prevention and control measures and safe care being provided to patients by dedicated and hard-working staff.

However, we did require some improvements to be made during our visits in order to maintain patient safety, including increased audit activity, better compliance with fire safety and evacuation procedures and more regular checking of resuscitation equipment. Where we found these issues, without exception, the health boards were prompt and effective at resolving the risks we identified.

Alun Jones, Interim Chief Executive of Healthcare Inspectorate Wales said:

It is clear that health boards have undertaken an extraordinary amount of work in planning and preparing for the delivery of vaccinations in their regions to help protect people across Wales from COVID-19. Through our work, it was evident that in the vast majority of cases, arrangements in place were safe and efficient in delivering vaccinations, despite the scale, pace and complexity of temporary sites and teams.

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