Government warns of mandating vaccines for NHS staff in winter

The chief executive of NHS Providers says any move to introduce mandatory vaccination for NHS staff will have to wait until after the winter.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast yesterday, Chris Hopson said that, if the government were to grant mandatory vaccinations going forward, implementation should take place “not as early as April 2022”.

From 11 November, vaccination against Covid-19 will be a condition of employment for all staff working in nursing homes for adults in England, except those with medical exemption.

The Department of Health and Social Care is now considering expanding this policy to include all health and social care staff and also flu vaccination, with an action consultation that recently closed. .

Mr Hopson said mandatory vaccination done with “careful thought” could be an “incentive” to further dialogue with those who doubt the vaccine.

But he added that the government “needs to recognize the risk of losing unvaccinated frontline staff and support efforts to increase volunteer recruitment first”.

He also referred to the “very difficult winter” ahead and said the NHS could be “absolutely perfect”.

He pointed to a survey conducted by NHS Providers which found that a “small majority” of NHS trust leaders would support mandatory staff vaccinations.

The survey, which involved 172 leaders from 114 trusts across the country, showed that 58% of respondents supported mandatory vaccination, 32% opposed and 10% responded ‘don’t know’ .

“The government needs to recognize the risk of losing unvaccinated frontline staff”

Chris Hopson

However, it also revealed that 95% of trust leaders were concerned about further staffing gaps within the NHS and social care if vaccination was made mandatory.

If mandatory vaccination goes ahead, pushing the deadline after the winter is “reasonable”, according to Mr Hopson, who gave a date for the introduction of “not as early as April 2022”.

In response, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “We are taking action to introduce vaccination requirements in nursing homes and we have recently consulted on expanding it to the entire health service. and other social care. Let’s set our response in a timely manner. “

They ended their support for the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, and added that less than 80% in the UK have been double jabbed against Covid-19.

Mr Hopson’s intervention comes a week after health and social care secretary Sajid Javid was told News in Heaven he is “relies on“Covid-19 vaccinations have been made mandatory, even though it is said that the government“ has yet to make a final decision ”.

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