• Sherwood Forest FT and University Hospitals of Birmingham will be the first to deliver covid vaccines 24/7
  • It is understood they will focus on the same priority groups as existing hospital hubs

Two hospital trusts in the Midlands are being lined up to pilot a 24-hour covid vaccine service, HSJ has learned.

University Hospitals of Birmingham FT and Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust, in Nottinghamshire, have been selected to provide the enhanced vaccination service, according to senior sources.

HSJ understands the two Midlands trusts will go live with the service tomorrow, and it will focus on the same priority groups as existing hospital vaccine hubs. These include health and care staff, and priority patient groups, particularly those who may be at hospital for another reason.

Yesterday, Nadhim Zahawi, the minister leading the government’s covid-19 vaccine programme, said round-the-clock jabs would be piloted in “probably either London or the Midlands”.

Some have suggested the first 24/7 operations may be for night shift workers — it’s unclear whether the two pilots will mainly vaccinate staff (many of whom have already received their first dose) or others.

NHS England statistics show that, as of 18 January, almost 3.7 million first doses of covid vaccine have been given, as well as around 400,000 second doses.

Earlier this month, Boris Johnson said the NHS would offer the vaccine to the top four priority groups — covering just over 12 million people in England — by mid-February.

The government and the NHS centrally have been under political pressure in recent days to vaccinate people through the night, with Labour Party leader Keir Starmer calling for community pharmacists to help deliver it.

Both trusts have been asked if they want to comment.