BMA warns of ‘no jab, no work’ policy for NHS amid row of mandatory Covid vaccines – .

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BMA warns of ‘no jab, no work’ policy for NHS amid row of mandatory Covid vaccines – .


Giving NHS staff a no-go, no-job ultimatum would have a “devastating” impact on health service staffing, top doctors have warned.

The British Medical Association (BMA) warning comes as the government plans to make Covid and flu vaccines mandatory for NHS staff, all who refuse risk dismissal.

There are around 100,000 NHS workers in England who have yet to receive their first vaccine.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid saying mandatory vaccination for staff could arrive this winter, the BMA said the threat of staff sacking was “of grave concern” given the upcoming seasonal pressures and the huge NHS backlog of care.

There is already a staff shortage of nearly 10,000 doctors and nearly 40,000 nurses in England as the country heads into one of the toughest winters on record for the NHS.

It is not known how many of the roughly 100,000 unvaccinated NHS staff are doctors and nurses.

BMA board chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said while supporting the rollout of the Covid vaccine, the government needs to consider the potential consequences of mandatory vaccinations.

A ‘no jab no work’ ultimatum to try to force NHS staff to get vaccinated against Covid could backfire and lead to staff shortages, doctors union warned

The graph above shows the proportion of NHS staff who have been vaccinated against Covid in England. There are some 100,000 employees who have yet to get their first jab

“There is, however, an important distinction between believing that every healthcare professional should be vaccinated and advocating for mandatory vaccinations; this has its own legal, ethical and practical implications which must be taken into account, ”he said.

“The threat to staff who refuse the vaccine losing their jobs is also of great concern. “

Nursing homes may have to close due to mandatory COVID staff vaccinations

There are concerns that elderly and vulnerable nursing home residents are at a higher risk of catching Covid-19 due to the government’s ban on unvaccinated staff.

Under a tough new law, more than 40,000 primary caregivers will be forced to quit their jobs within weeks of refusing to receive the jab.

But providers were already struggling to fill a record number of vacancies and say they will be forced to close units, floors or even entire apartment houses if they cannot meet the required staffing levels at from November 11.

This could mean that retirees would be moved to hospital wards, where they could be cared for by former staff from unvaccinated nursing homes, as the ‘no jab, no work’ rule currently does not apply. in the NHS.

Healthcare industry bosses are begging ministers to suspend mandatory vaccination order over the winter, when healthcare services are already expected to come under enormous pressure from another wave of coronavirus cases as well as a resurgence of influenza.

Professor Martin Green, managing director of the trade body Care England, said: ‘The government is talking about an integrated system and yet it has not imposed the same vaccination rules on the NHS. If we have a really serious staff shortage, the services will shut down.

“This will mean residents will lose their homes, but also the system will have to find them elsewhere to live and this could put additional pressure on the NHS. “

Dr Nagpaul says that although over 90% of NHS staff in England have suffered the Covid jab, the loss of even a relatively small portion of the workforce due to a ‘no jab, no job ”could have massive consequences.

“Even if a small number of employees were forced to leave their jobs because they were not vaccinated, it would have a big impact on a health service which is already under enormous pressure,” he said.

“With severe labor shortages plaguing the NHS and 93,000 unfilled vacancies, any reduction in healthcare staff could be devastating for patient services as we face a record backlog of care and healthcare. winter pressures. ”

The union boss said the government should consider giving unvaccinated staff a way out of politics so they can still contribute to the NHS.

“The government should explore options for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or may refuse, including, for example, remote working, possible redeployment, better protection of PPE and more regular testing,” did he declare.

But Dr Nagpaul added that the bigger question, the impact of a mandatory vaccination policy on staff, is unknown and the government should explore this before implementing the policy.

“We would like the government to produce an impact assessment to give an indication of the potential impact of this policy on staffing levels,” he said.

“It would be irresponsible to go ahead with this plan without doing so at the very least, and we recommend delaying the policy until a fuller understanding of its implications on labor levels is reached.” work can be achieved. ”

Speaking last week, Mr Javid said making vaccinations mandatory would encourage unvaccinated staff to get vaccinated and make patients safer.

There are around 100,000 that are not (vaccinated in the NHS) at this point, but what we saw with the care sector is that when we announced the policy … then we saw a lot more people come forward and do the right thing and get vaccinated. he told Sky News.

“If they haven’t been vaccinated yet, there is a patient safety issue and it’s something the government will take very seriously. “

Ministers launched a six-week consultation on the need to make Covid and flu vaccinations mandatory for NHS staff early last month. The results are not yet published.

If enacted, it will reflect the controversial “no jab, no job” policy of No10 already in nursing homes, with staff working in retirement homes having a vaccination deadline by 11th. November.

Care officials have warned that many homes will be forced to close because they will not be able to find enough workers to be vaccinated.

But a critical difference in the proposed compulsory vaccination of NHS staff is the addition of the flu vaccine.

While Covid vaccinations have been high, with the vast majority of hospitals in England achieving vaccination rates above 85%, convincing staff to get the flu shot has proven more problematic.

Last year’s flu vaccination campaign for NHS staff, which ended in February, saw overall adoption of just under 77%, which means around a quarter of staff did not get it.

There were also regional disparities, with some hospitals requiring only 53% of their staff to be vaccinated against the flu.

While Mr Javid’s comments concerned mandatory Covid vaccines, in theory so would the flu vaccines, under the proposed policy.

Other health unions have also warned against obliging staff to receive vaccines.

The Royal College of Nursing has also expressed concerns about the policy, as have other health organizations such as the NHS Confederation.

Nursing home bosses have already sounded the alarm about mandatory jabs, fearing they will have to shut down due to the government’s ban on unvaccinated staff, with 40,000 frontline workers stinging.

Suppliers were already struggling to fill a record number of vacancies and say they will likely have to close units, floors or even entire apartment houses when the policy takes effect.

This could mean that retirees are transferred to hospital wards, where they could be cared for by former unvaccinated nursing home workers.

Bosses in the healthcare industry are already begging ministers to suspend mandatory vaccination orders over the winter, when they already expect to face tremendous pressure from Covid and the flu.

While studies show that Covid vaccines significantly reduce a person’s risk of hospitalization or death, they are slightly less effective at stopping transmission.

Some vaccines are already required in parts of the NHS, including hepatitis B, for anyone working in parts of the health service prone to exposure, such as surgery.

Most people who catch the virus are able to clear the infection, but in rare cases this can trigger liver failure, a life-threatening complication.

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