Eleventh hour guidance on exemptions to mandatory care staff vaccination are “not at all helpful” and represent a “human resource nightmare for employers”, according to the National Care Forum (NCF).
Speaking yesterday at the Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo at the NEC Birmingham, NCF CEO, Vic Rayner OBE, said the updated advice, which was issued a day before today’s deadline for people to get their first jab in order to be fully vaccinated by the 11th November deadline, lacked clarity and made it “impossible for employers to make the right decision”.
An NCF survey of its members shows there has been a 74% rise in staff leaving the sector since April 2021 with 50% of exits due to stress and the wish to find an easier job and 44% seeking better pay, with competition from health (71%) and hospitality (58%) also a major factor. Four in five (79%) providers said they were concerned about the future ahead of the winter.
The NCF is calling on the government to include the following key actions in a second Winter Plan for social care:
a retention bonus for staff;
an increase and extension of the Infection Control and Rapid Testing Fund, including pay for staff isolating;
delay implementation date for mandatory vaccination;
create wholly flexible Workforce Capacity Fund;
assistance to providers through local authority mutual aid;
reframe more effective National Recruitment Campaign; and
add care workers to the Shortage Occupation List.