Vaccination rates in some parts of the UK among care home staff has led to new mandatory rules
More staff working for the NHS in England will be pulled into the scope of new mandatory rules on vaccinations in care homes when the changes come into force later this year.
From November, new regulations will require all staff working in care homes to be fully vaccinated against 冠状病毒病-19, unless they are exempt, in order to protect residents and patients at most risk from the virus.
Ministers have shied away from requiring mandatory vaccination for NHS staff but in a letter to system leaders, NHS England has warned GPs and community services staff that NHS staff visiting care homes will also have to follow the rules.
因此, all NHS staff entering a care home 从 11 November will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 unless they have an exemption.
Care home managers will be able to refuse entry to anyone not able to show they are fully vaccinated.
NHS trusts, GP practices and other community providers have now been told they need to “carry out proactive workforce planning to ensure only staff who are vaccinated, or exempt, are ever deployed to enter a care home from 11 November.”
In the letter, signed by Ian Dodge, NHS England’s national director for primary care, the NHS said it was important steps were taken now to make sure “service provision is not disrupted once this government regulation comes into force.”
It said it was important staff were encouraged to have their first vaccine by 16 September to allow for the eight week gap between both doses.
NHS staff who visited homes, such as GPs and district nurses, will need to display their NHS Covid pass to care home staff before entry.
The changes have sparked concerns that some social care staff working in care homes could leave their jobs, exacerbating a major workforce shortage in the sector.
By June only 65 per cent of older adult homes in England had hit the target of 80 per cent of staff and 90 per cent of residents having at least one dose of vaccine. This was lowest in London at 44 百分. For second doses, 只要 40 per cent of homes were reaching the 80/90 target with London at just 23 百分.
The Care Quality Commission has warned care homes they will be monitored around their implementation of the new rules.
The Care Provider Alliance, which brings together the 10 national associations representing adult social care providers, has warned the new rules could see critical staff leave the sector as the country heads into winter.
In a letter to members of the House of Lords it warned: “The sector faces 112,000 vacancies currently, if the 5 百分, who may eventually choose not to have the vaccine, leave the sector and are added to the current vacancies it will completely destabilise an already fragile sector.”
There have been more than 50,000 Covid related deaths in care homes across the UK since the start of the pandemic.