Nursing homes face the ultimatum of closing or breaking the law because of the government’s ‘no jab, no job’ policy, it was claimed today.
Unions and healthcare bosses have warned of a staff exodus due to the requirement that caregivers be vaccinated with two doses by November 11.
Today is the last day for tens of thousands of healthcare workers who have yet to receive their first injection, due to the eight weeks between doses.
Of the 470,000 nursing home workers caring for older residents in England, 92 percent had their first dose on Sept. 5, while 84 percent were fully primed.
The GMB union estimates that 70,000 employees caring for elderly residents may not be vaccinated in time for the November 11 deadline.
Martin Green, chief executive of the country’s largest provider, Care England, said homes could be forced to close, break the law or provide substandard care.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We all accept that we want as many people as possible to be vaccinated.
“But I do feel that the government has continued to mandate social care without understanding the implications, without having a well thought-out plan on how to tackle the staff shortage.
Nursing homes are now in a difficult position facing the reality of do they have enough staff to maintain the safety and quality of care?
Of the 470,000 nursing home workers caring for older residents in England, 92 percent had their first dose on Sept. 5, while 84 percent were fully primed
“They are in a position to either break the law or expose people they support to workforces that don’t provide the security you need.
“Inevitably, in some areas, if you can’t get the staff, there will be care homes that close.”
NHS pushes back against ‘unnecessary’ mandatory Covid jabs plan
Frontline NHS staff in England who have not had both their Covid shots by the winter could be fired or at least redeployed.
The government today launched a six-week consultation on plans to make vaccination a legal requirement to work with NHS patients.
According to the plans, 1.2 million frontline NHS staff must be legally stabbed to reduce transfers in hospitals.
Those who refuse the shot could be banned from working with patients, meaning they are likely to be reassigned or at risk of losing their jobs.
Social Care Minister Helen Whately said today that staff who reject the vaccine could be moved back to office roles.
Figures show that 88 per cent of NHS staff have been fully vaccinated and around 92 per cent have had their first dose, despite their first injection in December.
The numbers are lower in London, where there has been more hesitation about vaccination, and only 86 percent have had a first shot.
The uptake among health professionals is slightly below the national average for over-18s in England, with 88.5 per cent having taken up the first dose offer.
But the move to make jabs mandatory, despite fears among NHS bosses, could spark a staff crisis, hampering efforts to tackle the massive backlog in care. They warned it could be discriminatory.
With less than 24 hours before the deadline for the first vaccines, the government announced a temporary self-certification process for medical exemptions.
It will allow caregivers to exempt themselves without a doctor’s supervision, in a move that has been described as a “loophole.”
Those who do not need to be vaccinated include those with learning disabilities or autism who find vaccination troubling because of their condition.
Also exempt are people with severe allergies to the vaccines and those who had side effects on their first dose.
Pregnant home care workers and people with short-term medical conditions can also apply for a ‘temporary exemption’, which expires in 12 weeks.
Providers said it could be misused by workers unwilling to get stung and want to stay on the job longer, and it’s hitting the road.
GMB said the government had “blown it up” at the last hour.
Mike Padgham, who runs Saint Cecilia’s Care Group in Scarborough, said four of its 164 health care workers are unwilling to be vaccinated, one of whom is medically exempt.
He calls on the government to postpone or completely reconsider the mandatory vaccination deadline, so that health care providers can work with improved personal protective equipment and after taking daily tests.
In a letter to Health Minister Sajid Javid, he wrote: ‘I can’t rearrange them because I can’t rearrange them anywhere.
“Even if I did, I would find it extremely difficult to find four healthcare workers to replace them during the worst staffing crisis in the history of social care.
“Should I fire them or send them home and let myself sit four team members? If I fire them, will I be open to four labor courts?
‘Whatever I do, I run the risk of violating the regulations of the Healthcare Quality Committee (CQC) and being prevented from acting as a provider.’
The government has said the temporary system will ensure that people with medical exemptions can continue to work.
Unvaccinated mother, 55, and daughter, 32, die of Covid within two weeks of each other, as ‘devastated’ father says their decision not to get the shot ‘will haunt him for the rest of his life’
An unvaccinated British mother and her daughter have died in hospital less than 14 days apart after both contracted the coronavirus, leaving their family ‘devastated’.
Sammie-Jo Forde, 32, died last Saturday at Ulster Hospital near Belfast, just 11 days after her mother Heather Maddern, 55, died in the same ward on August 31.
Miss Forde’s father, Kevin McAllister, said it “will haunt me for the rest of my life” that his daughter has not taken the vaccine, adding that she is leaving behind four children.
Both Ms Forde and Ms Maddern – who were only two beds apart in the hospital – were caregivers caring for the elderly in their own homes.
Miss Forde, who had no underlying health problems, texted her father while she was being treated in hospital, telling him: ‘Daddy, Mommy has passed away’
Kevin McAllister is pictured with his daughter Sammie-Jo Forde, who died in Ulster Hospital
Three days ago, a funeral was held on Monday for Ms Maddern, who lived in Groomsport, while a service for Miss Forde is set to take place next Monday.
In an emotional interview, Mr McAllister said: BBC Radio Five Live host Stephen Nolan yesterday: ‘I had the worst weekend of my life last weekend.
My daughter passed away on Saturday, Covid-19. Her mum was buried yesterday, she had Covid-19 and they both never took the Covid-19 injections.
‘My daughter was 32 with four children. To make matters worse, today was her oldest son’s birthday. He turns 13 today.
“So these people who don’t take their Covid-19 shot don’t think about the other people they leave behind.
“I lost my daughter, my best friend, all I have are memories of her, motor racing, fishing, driving excavators, those are all the memories I have.
Miss Forde (right), 32, died last Saturday at Ulster Hospital near Belfast, just 11 days after her mother Heather Maddern (left), 55, died in the same ward on August 31
“She’s going to be buried next Monday—and I can’t give her a cheerio. If it happened to your own family, I wouldn’t wish what I went through on anyone.
“I went back to work today to clear my mind, but next Monday I have to bury my firstborn, my best friend, my daughter, and I can never get out of my head why she didn’t. take this. It will haunt me for the rest of my life.’
Mr McAllister, who also has two sons, said he couldn’t understand why neither his daughter nor Ms Maddern, who is his ex-partner, decided not to take the jab.
“They helped other people and they couldn’t even help themselves,” he said, adding to his daughter, “I wish she’d taken it.”
Yesterday, 10 more deaths were reported in Northern Ireland of patients who tested positive for Covid-19.