Sixty percent of care home managers say they will be forced to sack staff members who are refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the government deadline.
The government has previously determined that it is likely that 40,000 care home workers – 7% – will not be deployable as a result of the mandatory vaccine policy.
However, when the Institute of Health and Social Care Management (IHSCM) surveyed 530 care home managers across the UK, 318 said they would be forced to sack staff by November 11 based on current vaccination rates.
The data, seen by the Telegraph, also found that around 35% of managers expect they will lose between one and five% of staff, 19% fear they will lose between six and 10% of carers, and 4.11% believe they will lose between 11 and 15% of staff.
But as many as 3.9% of managers fear they could lose up to a fifth of their workforce, with between 16 and 20% of carers missing the November deadline, set by the Department of Health and Social Care earlier this month.
The news comes after the Outstanding Manager Network warned in a letter to Jeremy Hunt that the recruitment crisis in social care is about to be made “significantly worse” by the mandatory vaccine rules.
Jane Brightman, who penned the letter on behalf of 5,700 social care managers, and is also director of social care at IHSCM, told the Telegraph: “We are seeing the stress of the pandemic and now the recruitment crisis coupled with mandatory vaccines taking its toll on mental health.
“The stories are real, ongoing and heart-breaking. I am pro-vaccines but I feel strongly that now is not the right time to mandate them in care homes. We are creating a perfect storm which nobody in power has thought through properly on the consequences.
“We are genuinely worried about the safety and stability of the sector, especially as we head into autumn and winter.”
The IHSCM also found that 27.6% of respondents had already lost between one and five staff due to their opposition to mandatory vaccination, while 3.75% said they had already lost as many as between six and 10 carers.
Managers said the main reasons staff gave for refusing the vaccine were pregnancy or fertility-related, religious or ethical concerns, fear of vaccinations or that they were anti-vaccination in general.
The National Care Forum has previously warned of “potentially catastrophic challenges for the delivery of care” as the countdown begins to compulsory vaccines as a condition of deployment for care home staff.
Vic Rayner OBE, CEO of the National Care Forum, said in July: “With the regulations now approved, the countdown to implementation begins. The regulations will come into force on the 11th November, and the delayed impact statement produced by the government earlier this week outlined the potential impact on the care sector across all care homes.
“The statement itself was limited in detail and we await the full-scale analysis that backs it up. However, even with its summary assessment it is clear that even the lower level assumptions recognise the very significant and potentially catastrophic challenges for the delivery of care if the right level of guidance and support is not available.”