Should Covid vaccinations be mandatory for frontline NHS workers?
Frontline NHS workers and social care staff in regulated settings in England will need to be jabbed to continue in their jobs from April 1 next year.
Health and care groups have said they are “disappointed” and “concerned” about the Government’s plans to make coronavirus vaccination mandatory for frontline staff.
Frontline NHS workers and social care staff in regulated settings in England will need to be jabbed to continue in their jobs from April 1 next year, unless they are exempt.
The Government has conceded that the policy could have a “significant impact” on the health and care workforce, estimating that as many as 123,000 could leave their jobs as a result.
The Homecare Association said that, based on current uptake figures and assuming no progress, a quarter of homecare staff in registered services would have to leave.
It estimates this to be between 120-140,000 staff – which could leave 120,000 older and disabled people without vital support.
It says the deadline of April “buys time to attempt to persuade” this group to get jabbed.
Dr Jane Townson, chief executive of the Homecare Association, said the organisation was “disappointed by the Government’s policy decision; their bullying approach towards the health and care workforce”, and their failure to acknowledge the potential risks of losing staff.
She said: “We feel it’s very important to balance the mitigated risk of infection with the risk of unavailability of care at home for highly dependent older and disabled people.
“Vaccination is a key line of defence against serious illness but was only ever part of a wider set of infection prevention and control measures.”
Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said it is essential that getting vaccinated “remains a free choice for all health and care staff”.
He added: “We know that 98-99% of physicians have been vaccinated, but introducing such a requirement could drive those who choose not to receive the vaccine to leave the NHS.
What are your views? Do frontline NHS workers have a duty to be fully vaccinated against Covid? Do you think NHS workers should lose their job if they are not vaccinated by 1st April? Will this new legislation impact you personally?