The government has been warned it faces “significant challenges” to implementing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for care home staff.
Vic Rayner, CEO of the National Care Forum, issued the warning following the government’s announcement yesterday that care home staff will be required to vaccinate under a new law.
Vic warned the legislation was a “logistical nightmare” for care homes who will be held responsible for checking the vaccination status or exemption of people for everyone crossing their threshold.
The CEO pointed out that people working in a care home will need to begin their vaccinations eight-week into the 16-week ‘grace period’ in order to make sure they are fully vaccinated and, therefore, still eligible to work.
The NCF head added that the suggestion that people who were not fully vaccinated would be redeployed was “not meaningful” for the majority of care homes as the majority of staff work in the home.
She said that if more detail and support were not rapidly provided, the government ran the risk of creating an “impenetrable maze” and adding further staffing pressures while asking managers to operate an “unworkable vaccination door policy”.
Karolina Gerlich, CEO of The Care Workers’ Charity, also warned of “severe and devastating staff shortages” as a result of the policy, adding that “compulsory vaccinations will only serve to further alienate our wonderful social care workforce that, despite their incredible work, feel side-lined, undervalued and ignored”.