Mandatory coronavirus vaccines could lead to mass exodus of healthcare workers – .

Mandatory coronavirus vaccines could lead to mass exodus of healthcare workers – .

Sajid Javid said the decision to delay the application of mandatory jabs until April reflected concerns about “labor pressures” in the NHS this winter.

It came after NHS chiefs and union leaders raised fears of an exodus of unvaccinated staff.

There are more than 90,000 vacant positions in the NHS and more than 100,000 employees are currently unvaccinated – up to one in five in some trusts.

In a statement to the Commons, Mr Javid said mandatory jabs were required for NHS staff because they ‘bear sole responsibility’ and the duty to avoid preventable damage.

He said their close contact with some of the most vulnerable people in society meant the move was warranted.

But last week, NHS chiefs called for the measure to be postponed until April to ensure health services can get through a “very, very difficult winter”.

Mr Javid told the Commons: ‘It is with this in mind that we have chosen that the condition not take effect until 12 weeks after parliamentary approval, leaving time for the remaining colleagues to make the positive choice to protect themselves. and protect those around them and time for workforce planning.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents hospitals, said: “We are pleased that the government has listened to trusted leaders and confirmed that the deadline for mandatory vaccinations for health workers will be introduced in April, when the busy winter period has passed.

‘NHS has more than enough on its plate

On Tuesday, the unions opposed the plans.

Sara Gorton, head of health at Unison, said: “The NHS has more than enough on its plate, without the government adding more to its to-do list. “

Health officials said the regulations cover health and social service workers who have direct, face-to-face contact with people while providing care, such as doctors, nurses, dentists and physicians. home care workers.

They will also apply to auxiliary staff such as porters or receptionists, who may have social contact with patients but are not directly involved in their care.

Only those who do not have face-to-face contact with patients or who are medically exempt will not be required to receive two doses of a Covid vaccine.

Unvaccinated frontline health and social service workers will need to receive their first vaccine within the next 12 weeks in order to get their second vaccine before the April 1 deadline.

Care home workers in England have already been told they need to be fully immunized, with a deadline of Thursday.

Mr Javid said that since the announcement of social assistance, the number of people working in care homes who have not received at least one dose has increased from 88,000 to 32,000.

Amanda Pritchard, Managing Director of NHS England, said: ‘The NHS has always been clear that staff should get vaccinated against Covid to protect themselves, their loved ones and patients, and the overwhelming majority. has already done. “

Officials in Northern Ireland announced plans for a public consultation on mandatory Covid-19 and flu vaccinations for new hires in health and social services on Tuesday.

However, the Welsh and Scottish governments are not planning to introduce compulsory vaccines for health and social service workers.


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