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Mandatory staff vaccination “appalling” idea, says care chief  

COVID-vaccine

Proposals to introduce mandatory vaccination for care staff are an “appalling” idea, a specialist care leader has said.

The comment came from Neil Russell, head of PJ Care, a provider of care for adults with degenerative conditions such as dementia, Huntingdon’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, and those with acquired brain injuries.

Neil, who was the first of his staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccination at Milton Keynes Hospital, says making vaccination compulsory would have disastrous effects on the industry.

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“The sector could lose enough staff to embroil an already underfunded industry in a recruitment war as homes seek to fill vacancies,” Neil said.

“This would result in financial problems for many homes, causing closures and people in need of care having nowhere to go, but into hospitals that are already struggling with bed availability.”

The Department of Health and Social Care is considering compulsory vaccinations for staff in settings caring for at least one person over the age of 65 as this age is group is more at risk from coronavirus.

The Social Care Working Group of SAGE has advised that an uptake rate of 80% in staff and 90% in residents in every care home would be needed to provide a minimum level of protection against outbreaks of COVID-19.  At the beginning of this month, the vaccination rate among care home staff stood at 78.9% with figures in some regions being considerably lower.

Neil added: “We must ask why the government is only looking at imposing the vaccine on care workers in homes with anyone over the age of 65 and not elsewhere such as homes with younger vulnerable adults or hospitals where patients are more vulnerable. Not enough is known about the vaccine yet to be able to evidence its effect on transmission rates so even with all staff vaccinated, the risk to those in their care remains the same and staff will still need to wear full PPE and follow strict infection control measures.

“While vaccinating care workers is important, greater protection can be achieved by ensuring the residents are vaccinated, combined with diligent infection control measures and effective use of PPE.  That’s the way I believe we will best protect the vulnerable in all our care facilities.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic and we urge all social care staff to come forward for their jab, if they haven’t already.

“We have visited every eligible care home in England, offered vaccines to all staff, and continue to work closely with the care sector and local leaders to maximise vaccination numbers and save thousands of lives.

“Our priority is ensuring people in care homes are properly protected and we have launched a consultation to get the views from people in the sector on whether to introduce vaccines as a condition of deployment for those caring for adults as a way to help further protect our most vulnerable.”

 

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The author Lee Peart

7 Comments

  1. What is appalling is the number of deaths in care homes due to contracting Covid and, as no visitors, it can only be from staff. What happened to duty of care??

    1. Duty of care means that I turn up for work and do my job the best of my ability. It does not mean that I jab myself with some very questionable substance that is not even licensed fully. There are other ways of reducing risks such as regural testing. But if this is not goid enough I urge you people to take home your family members and look after them yourselves. You do not have a right to demand this from people my body and life is not for you to controll and you have no right to dictate what kind of permanent enhancement or harm I do to my body.

  2. The attitude towards social care workers may be a clue as to why people refuse.
    Low pay, scapegoating, low standards, bad managers. Then singled out above all other health and social care workers ?
    I have witnessed many people leave for different jobs. I suggest people who constantly blame those who deliver care, I suggest people look after their own parents and families.

  3. If my mum was in a care home I would want the people caring for her to have the vaccine its common sense. They are not assolating so they are putting the people in the home at risk I think it’s very selfish of them ,dont they want to protect themselves their family and the people they take care of ?? Would they want someone looking after their parents who has the chance to make sure they stay safe but refuse to do so,shame on all that refuse to make sure the elderly and vulnerable live out the remainder of their life safe and happy .

    1. I trust that any compensation payments for vaccine injury are coming out of your piggy bank considering that the pharmaceutical companies can’t be held liable. This vaccine is still experimental and under emergency license only. I personally know someone who ended up in hospital with Transverse Myelitis after taking the Astra Zeneca vaccine.. I really hope you’re not going to call her ‘selfish’ for not having the second dose.

      Yes, care workers have a duty of care but that stops at becoming a lab rat just to make pharmaceutical billionaires rich!

      There was never any need for us to be in the situation that were in now. This could have been over with last summer if we’d done a proper targeted shielding of vulnerable groups whilst the storm passed and the rest of us cracked on gaining natural herd immunity. However instead Covid positive cases were dumped in care homes where it ran rife and DNRs were put on our elderly. The Government doesn’t care about ‘protecting granny’ from Covid. They care about targets and ticks in boxes.

  4. You clearly know nothing!!! How dare you question the duty of care! You clearly have a short memory so ill remind you…. at the start of the pandemic care homes where forgotten about, the staff and residents especially in private care homes couldn’t source ppe, like protective face masks, face shields, or protective full body gowns because all resources went to NHS hospitals! There were no testing kits available at the beginning either. So the care home staff had to work with what we had, I personally phoned various companies looking for much needed masks and ppe donations only to be told they had nothing as it had been donated or redirected to NHS hospitals. Care homes were told to grade the residents on a scale of 1 to 5 for every resident to determine the individuals survival rate and most of our residents wouldn’t survive according to the scale given we were told they would not be treated and that the hospital would not send an ambulance and waste resources! Care homes were issued blanket DNACPRs meaning no one would receive treatment or resuscitation even if it was not covid related!!!!!! So get your facts before you comment on something you have no idea about! We had to watch people die in agony because end of life drugs where limited because care homes where forgotten about.

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