Agenda item

Vaccination Services in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

This paper provides an overview of vaccination programmes in Hammersmith & Fulham. The paper focuses on childhood vaccinations, but data is included where pertinent on the wider schedule.


Members of the Committee are asked to note and support the work that system partners across London, including NHSE London, the Local Authority, and the Integrated Care Board are doing to increase vaccination uptake.


Susan Elden (NHS England) introduced the item on vaccination programmes in Hammersmith & Fulham. She was joined by:

  • Carla Hobart (Specialist Registrar NHSE)
  • Kevin Driscoll and Lucy Rumbellow (NHS North West London ICB)
  • Anne Tunbridge (Immunisations commissioner NHSE London)


From the Council, Dr Nicola Lang (H&F Director of Public Health) and Tahirah Chaves (Head of Child Public Health) attended to provide an update on the borough’s plans.


Councillor Ben Coleman (Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care) noted the community vaccine locations mentioned by NHSE in the presentation were not in the borough and asked for a commitment that there would be appropriate community locations in the borough. Carla Hobart said the aim was to have community locations in all boroughs. Susan Elden said she could provide the list of locations following the meeting.


ACTION: Carla Hobart / Susan Elden


Councillor Genevieve Nwaogbe asked what officers and partners were doing to tackle the borough’s consistently poor uptake of vaccines.Kevin Driscoll said they were making the offer as accessible as possible and promoting it to residents. He said they were fully invested and focused on community engagement.


Councillor Nwaogbe said the report implied that the problem was provision of staff but the Council had venues to offer. She also spoke about the genuine distrust amongst some communities due to past medical abuses and asked what the NHS and partners were doing differently to reach those communities. Kevin Driscoll said he accepted the challenge and said they took issues of lack of trust and structural racism very seriously. He noted their contracts stipulated hiring from within communities and they worked with faith health networks to improve community reach.


Keith Mallinson asked the NHS representatives if they were working with the right people and groups. He noted the report mentiond working with community organisations but the organisation he worked for hadn’t received any information on vaccinations. He asked them to look again at who they were working with. Kevin Driscoll said he would take Keith’s details. He noted they were building a model of community engagement and had successfully held clinics in food banks.


Tahirah Chaves said some communities were vocal and more engaged. The Council was trying to think about the groups that weren’t engaging and think about the contexts where parents would get involved – in the new Family Hubs for example.


Councillor Amanda Lloyd-Harris said she felt the 82% vaccination rate in care homes seemed low. She also raised concerns about the relatively low rate of vaccinations for young people and suggested it may be because some people didn’t have access to GPs. Kevin Driscoll said 82% coverage for care homes was very high. They had a team to go into care homes and work with residents and their families to get consent. Regarding access to GPs, Kevin Driscoll noted they had data for unregistered young people and have sent letters to parents in the past to encourage GP registration and other options for vaccinations.


Councillor Lloyd-Harris asked if statistics were available for the number of care home staff who were vaccinated. Officers said they could come back with an update on this.


Merril Hammer and Jim Grealy noted that the report did not go into detail about why the borough’s vaccination rates were still relatively low. They also raised concerns that the ICB and partners were not learning lessons from the available data.


Linda Jackson said she felt the lessons learned from the Covid pandemic about working with communities hadn’t been internalised by the NHS, noting the roving model was not based on community need. She said the borough already had successful models of community intervention, developed over two and a half years during the pandemic but NHS England had not showed an interest in learning from or building on that work. Kevin Driscoll noted that the outreach model described was about working closer with the communities mentioned.


Councillor Coleman said this was the sixth year in a row with unacceptable vaccination figures for Hammersmith & Fulham and the NHS did not appear to know how to address the problem. He said the lesson from the pandemic was that if we made the vaccine more accessible to people, they were more likely to take it. Allowing children to have vaccines at pharmacies would increase take-up. Kevin Driscoll said that was being considered and a national pilot had begun. Dr Nicola Lang said Hammersmith & Fulham was keen to be a pilot site and had a pharmacy ready to go. Linda Jackson also supported the pilot. She noted that during Covid the pharmacies wanted to do more. They were an important community resource.


Councillor Coleman asked if the borough could be part of the pharmacy pilot. Kevin Driscoll said they supported it in principle but would have to get agreement from regional colleagues. Councillor Coleman asked Kevin Driscoll work with Dr Nicola Lang to take the request forward.


ACTION: Kevin Driscoll / Dr Nicola Lang


Councillor Coleman said he was not persuaded that Hammersmith & Fulham was getting the focus needed and asked for a dedicated borough coordinator for vaccinations.


Kevin Driscoll said there was a coordinator working across Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, and Hammersmith & Fulham. Councillor Coleman said it would be a worthwhile investment and asked how it could be actioned. Kevin Driscoll said Hammersmith & Fulham would have to have conversations locally around finance mechanisms to support a coordinator.


The Chair proposed a working group to look at improving vaccination rates in the borough. The Committee agreed.


ACTION: David Abbott


The Chair drew the discussion to a close, thanked attendees for their contributions, and summarised the agreed actions:

  • To agree a community vaccine location in the borough.
  • To provide a list of vaccine locations following the meeting.
  • To take forward the request to be a part of the vaccines for children pharmacy pilot.
  • To create a working group to look at improving vaccination rates in the borough.




  1. That the Committee noted and commented on the report and presentation.

Supporting documents: