UK's vaccine rollout will serve as a 'blueprint for future disease prevention', NHS chief says


UK’s world-beating vaccine rollout will serve as a ‘blueprint for future disease prevention’, NHS chief says as bin men help doctors identify those in need

  • Key success has been merging of services, said NHS chief Sir Simon Stevens 
  • He touted collaboration between NHS, charities, faith groups and armed forces
  • Sir Simon also said the coronavirus vaccine rollout is ‘demonstrably working’

The UK’s world-beating vaccine rollout will serve as a blueprint for future disease prevention, the chief executive of the NHS has said. 

Sir Simon Stevens said a ‘key success’ has been the merging of services, including bin men in Chorley looking out for residents struggling to put the bins out.

Sir Simon also touted the successful collaboration between the NHS, charities, faith groups and the armed forces to vaccinate more than 30 million people.

The UK’s world-beating vaccine rollout will serve as a blueprint for future disease prevention, NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens (pictured above, in December last year) has said

The UK’s world-beating vaccine rollout will serve as a blueprint for future disease prevention, NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens (pictured above, in December last year) has said

Writing in the Times he said: ‘The NHS vaccination programme has shown the practical benefits and provided a blueprint for the future.

‘It is not just NHS data that we need to use. Refuse collectors are playing their part in Chorley, Lancashire, by identifying residents who have difficulty putting their bins out.

‘GPs and council teams can then provide help to those who are frail or housebound.

‘One factor in our vaccine success is the way groups of GP practices have worked together. These primary care networks, a key reform, have turned out to be the perfect platform for delivering the majority of Covid vaccines.

‘They now have a key role to play in our renewed push for disease prevention.’

Sir Simon said the vaccine rollout was ‘demonstrably working’ and the fast and precise rollout despite a huge winter wave of the virus has shown the health service at its best.

He wrote: ‘It has been a remarkable national mobilisation. The same approach is now needed to address other serious health conditions.

Members of the public wait in a queue to receive a dose of the Covid vaccine at a temporary vaccination hub at Colchester Community Stadium in Essex on February 6

Members of the public wait in a queue to receive a dose of the Covid vaccine at a temporary vaccination hub at Colchester Community Stadium in Essex on February 6

Sir Simon said the vaccine rollout is ‘demonstrably working’ and the fast and precise rollout despite a huge winter wave of the virus has shown the health service at its best (file photo)

Sir Simon said the vaccine rollout is ‘demonstrably working’ and the fast and precise rollout despite a huge winter wave of the virus has shown the health service at its best (file photo)

‘In short, the pandemic has accelerated the join-up of services and shown the practical benefits of doing so.’              

He said hi-tech digital schemes and improved partnerships have made it ‘much easier’ to identify and tackle the causes of ill health, from poor housing to lifestyle, but community efforts have also proved valuable in this work.

Weight management classes, as well as medicines as part of a project in West Yorkshire and Harrogate, are preventing heart attacks and strokes by helping GPs identify thousands of people with undiagnosed high blood pressure and other risks.

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