In an Impact statement from the Government, officials believe between 3% and 12% of care home staff may still resist getting a Covid jab by the end of a 16-week grace period. The central estimate was that 40,000 could be left without jobs, but it could be as high as 70,000 or as low as 17,000.
However, this has been major cause for concern for care home managers as the new laws could see a fifth of their staff face dismissal.
In a letter sent on 18 August, members of the Outstanding Manager Network urged MPs and Jeremy Hunt, the Health and Social Care Committee chair, to demand an enquiry following ‘eighteen incredibly difficult months’ for the care sector.
“There is an acute recruitment crisis, which is harder than it has ever been before. This is shortly about to be made significantly worse with the mandatory vaccines, many care providers are estimating between 10-20% of staff being dismissed as a result. There is no support from the Government or the regulators to help providers to navigate this.’
Defending the move in the House of Lords, James Bethell, a health minister, said:
“We did not take lightly the decision to introduce this legislation. However, the risks that this winter will undoubtedly pose to the most vulnerable in our society make clear the choice that we must make, to do everything in our power to protect them.”
Additionally, the Care Quality Commission have released a statement on COVID-19 vaccination of people working/deployed in care homes: the role of the Care Quality Commission and their subsequent ongoing monitoring, inspection and enforcement.
Along with the new regulatory requirements, care homes owners and their managers will undoubtedly be concerned about the knock-on-effect staff shortages will have on the efficient and safe running of their care home. Unfortunately, this is another example of how the coronavirus crisis is challenging the care sector.
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