Leading not for profit care home providers MHA and The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) say they are awaiting further details on the government’s stance on mandatory staff vaccination against COVID-19.
The government is reported to be considering making COVID vaccinations mandatory for care home staff.
A spokesperson for MHA told CHP: “It is for the government to decide whether it feels it necessary to make vaccination mandatory, and we await further detail on any moves to do so.”
MHA’s position was echoed by OSJCT CEO Dan Hayes who said: “We are following the government’s position on mandatory vaccination with interest.”
MHA said the majority of its frontline and eligible colleagues had had their first dose with a “good number” of having had their second.
The not for profit care provider said it was working closely with its homes to “provide the encouragement and information that staff need to make an informed decision”.
OSJCT said 80% of employees had received their first vaccine dose with 40% having had their second.
Dan added: “We feel that the vaccination is a vital part of keeping care home residents, staff and their families as safe as we can during this global pandemic and beyond. We encourage all colleagues to register for the vaccine and have been running a support campaign among colleagues to ensure they have all the facts about the vaccination.”
Provider opinion remains divided on mandatory vaccination with Four Seasons and NorseCare amongst those believing it should remain optional and Barchester and Care UK having taken a ‘no jab, no job’ stance.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Our priority is making sure people in care homes are protected and we are considering a range of measures. No final decisions have been made.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has said staff working in care homes for the elderly have a duty of care for their residents and given residents’ vulnerability to COVID-19 it is appropriate to explore all options for making those settings as safe as possible.