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Rooms are already empty at Greenways care home outside the village of Long Itchington in Warwickshire because there are not enough staff.

Claire Callender, 42, the manager, has already closed 12 of her 27 beds because “there aren’t people who want to do the job”. And on Wednesday, she said goodbye to another care worker, this time due to the new rule making double Covid jabs a deployment condition for all nursing home workers in England from Thursday.

Katie Madden, who has worked nights at Greenways for the past 18 months, almost cried when she announced her departure to The Guardian. She worked during a Covid outbreak at home and was sick with the virus herself for weeks. She had planned to get the vaccine, but feared it would make her sick again.

“The decision was taken away from me [when the law making it mandatory was introduced] … And I thought, ‘No, I’m not ready,’ ”she said.

She washes the residents, prepares them for bed and watches them all night. In the morning, she gets them up and organizes breakfast. “It’s a job that I’m going to be really upset to leave,” she said.

“I built a relationship with them all. We were all there through thick and thin when everyone was bad… I could have run away when there was coronavirus, but the old people were catching it and it broke my heart. But I went over there, breaking my back to help, and it goes to “You can go now”. I really feel disappointed.

For care managers, already faced with staff shortages caused by burnout, an average salary of just £ 9 an hour and the flow of foreign caregivers stifled by Brexit, the rule is not made. more difficult by the fact that NHS workers will not have to be vaccinated until April 2022.

Many nursing staff reluctant to be vaccinated have therefore already moved to the health service.

” The [situation] is absolutely ridiculous, ”Callender said. “I have to refuse a health professional if he is not vaccinated, but not the visitors. “

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