Covid-19: Care home bosses' staffing fears over compulsory jabs

Care home bosses' staffing fears over compulsory Covid jabs

9/16/2021 7:54:00 PM

Care home bosses' staffing fears over compulsory Covid jabs

Care providers say sacking staff could lead to homes being unable to admit patients.

image captionCare home boss Nicola Richards said some of her staff "are still hesitant about the vaccine"Care homes may have to close if they are forced to dismiss staff who are not fully vaccinated by the government's 11 November deadline, providers have said.

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The warning came on Thursday, the last opportunity for staff to have a first dose unless they are medically exempt.One care home boss in Sheffield said: "It's incredibly naive for government to be imposing this when we are heading into winter."

Figures show 91.9% of staff had a first dose in time to hit the deadline.However, care providers said that still left them facing a choice between dismissing unvaccinated staff and risking unsafe services, or breaking the law by keeping employees on.More stories from Yorkshire

Nicola Richards, who runs three homes in Sheffield, said two of her 130 staff had refused the vaccine."We can't afford to lose two people at the moment because of the staffing challenges that care providers across the country are facing," she said.

"We can't ignore that some staff are still hesitant about the vaccine. We've tried to educate them to the best of our ability."However, we do have to respect their choice in this."It's incredibly naive for government to be imposing this when we are heading into winter."

image captionMike Padgham says the sector is "in the teeth of the worst staffing crisis in the history of social care provision"Mike Padgham, who runs Saint Cecilia's Care Group in Scarborough, said four of his 164 care staff did not want to get vaccinated, one of whom was medically exempt.

He urged the government to postpone the mandatory vaccination deadline or rethink it entirely, allowing carers to work wearing enhanced PPE and after taking daily tests.In a letter to Health Secretary Sajid Javid he wrote: "I cannot redeploy them, as I have nowhere to redeploy them to.

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"Even if I did, I would find it extremely hard to find four care workers to replace them in the teeth of the worst staffing crisis in the history of social care provision."Am I to sack them or send them home and leave myself four team members down? If I do sack them, do I leave myself open to four industrial tribunals?

Read more: BBC News (UK) »

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