Exclusive GP-led Covid vaccination sites are facing inspections by a private company, which is carrying out checks regarding vaccine storage.
Facilities management and professional services company Mitie is undertaking the inspections on behalf of NHS England, Pulse understands.
A spokesperson for Mitie told Pulse that it has been asked to check ‘security arrangements’ for Covid vaccine storage at ‘a number of vaccination sites’.
They said: ‘We have been asked to do an independent assurance of the security arrangements for storage of the coronavirus vaccine at number of vaccination sites to support the successful rollout of this national programme.’
Pulse has asked for clarification on how many sites are set to be inspected, how they are selected for a check and when the inspections will begin.
It also remains unclear why the inspections are taking place. However, NHS England refused to comment, and a Mitie spokesperson told Pulse the company was unable to share more information because it is bound by a non-disclosure agreement.
It comes as the CQC last month announced that it would not ‘routinely’ monitor primary care network (PCN) vaccination sites.
In November, the regulator had said it might ‘separately’ inspect GP practices’ Covid vaccination sites that are not usually used to deliver services, such as sports venues.
But announcing that it would continue its current risk-based approach to GP practice inspections for another three months, the CQC said the approach would also apply to vaccination sites.
In a letter seen by Pulse, it said: ‘While we will be undertaking specific monitoring activity for the hospital trust-led mass vaccination centres, we will not be routinely doing this for the sites delivering the vaccine in primary care. ‘