The gov is seeking expressions of interest from private sector tech companies to develop a ‘modern vaccination appointment booking system’. The system could also double as a vaccine passport.
In a Prior Information Notice (PIN) sent to those on a list of potential tenders, the gov says it ‘wishes to explore the market and identify interest and indicative costs from experienced contractors to provide a vaccination appointment booking and administration solution’.
It adds: ‘Primarily, the Department (DHSC) is seeking a robust and sustainable solution for Covid vaccination administration but the solution should be scalable and capable of accommodating further vaccinations included in the IOM routine immunisation programme; childhood immunisation and flu vaccination programmes, for example.’
A DHSC spokesperson told Gef: ‘Here as elsewhere, the pandemic has presented government with a steep learning curve as it continues to explore new and better ways of providing services to the public. The overwhelming need to get vaccine into arms has seen development of an effective administrative system to issue invitations, receive and acknowledge registrations and provide notification of appointments within restricted time frames.
‘Online registration was successfully introduced this month, as the 111 team dealt with an increase in calls from people reporting symptoms and requiring tests. A further development designed to fill appointment slots efficiently and offer convenience to the public is soon to be trialled – a system which generates both vaccination appointment dates when an online registration is acknowledged, and allows for those dates to be accepted by a click in return.’
Gef has repeatedly asked for the gov to work with tech firms to introduce a digital booking system and app, similar to the one already used before the pandemic for GP appointments, but the gov has, until now, said that until vaccine deliveries became more consistent, it was not able to do this and that booking manually through Covid 111 was the most efficient system.
Potential suppliers are invited to detail how their solution would meet the needs of the Manx public and any additional features they could offer.
As governments around the world are coming to accept the likely requirement for a vaccine passport, the Manx gov is suggesting in the PIN that any solution that is developed could also be used as that vaccine passport. One of the requirements, which you can read in full below, of any successful bid, is to keep up to date with ‘developments and be able to respond to requirements for national/international vaccination certificates for passports’.
The spokesman added: ‘As we move through the vaccination groups, we have been exploring options for a bespoke, integrated system which combines customer facing contact with programme administration, suitable for our current Covid-19 vaccination programme and beyond, including future vaccination and wider public health campaigns. It is an exciting opportunity for enterprising and skilled innovators to put forward proposals for a system which can meet the needs of the population in this crucial area, and the vision to identify and exploit further opportunities within our health and care system, contributing to a positive legacy for our island.’
All declarations of interest have to have been made via the gov portal by 12pm on Friday April 16.