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Care home staff vaccination: we need your views

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Care and support, Carers, Consultations and surveys, coronavirus
COVID-19 vaccine vial being held in a gloved hand
Last month, the Department of Health and Social Care launched a consultation seeking your views on making vaccination a condition of deployment in older adult care homes. [Image by]

Your commitment spurs progress

The biggest vaccination programme in British history has sailed comfortably past 34 million adults receiving their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This has been achieved in no small part thanks to care colleagues supporting NHS counterparts and volunteers in vaccination centres across the country.

When the first vaccine was approved, residents and staff in care homes for older adults were top of the list for vaccination. I’d like to thank again those care colleagues who shared their positive vaccination experiences on this blog site and elsewhere. You have really helped to inform, reassure and encourage many more care staff to take up the vaccine, regardless of background or circumstance.

You have shown vaccination is a safe and effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, protecting yourself and those around you.

The vast majority of your colleagues seem to agree. As of 6 May 2021, nearly 82% of staff working in older adult care homes in England had received their first vaccination.

Although this is an impressive figure, there remains significant variation at a regional, local and individual care home level. The Social Care Working Group of SAGE has advised uptake rates of 80% in staff and 90% in residents in care home settings are needed to provide a minimum level of protection against further outbreaks.

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Maximising protection - tell us what you think

Last month, the Department of Health and Social Care launched an open consultation seeking your views on making vaccination a condition of deployment in older adult care homes, to protect the people most at risk in our communities.

I know so many of you are already going above and beyond to keep your residents, colleagues and loved ones safe. The condition, if applied, would be carried out in that self-same spirit. Think of it as another layer of protection, like PPE, testing or restricting staff movement between care settings.

We also believe it could help level out significant regional variations in vaccination uptake, which the national picture can’t reflect. London, for example, has a significantly lower uptake rate than other parts of England.

With an issue as complex and nuanced as this, the Government really wants to get it right - and with the views of care colleagues at the very heart of its decision making.

The consultation remains open until Friday 21 May 2021. Many of you have already contributed, but we still need many more views to help us make the best informed judgment possible for care home staff and residents.

I am already sharing my thoughts, opinions and guidance on how to work with care homes to boost vaccination uptake, but your workplace perspectives will provide vital intelligence, helping to inform the way this is done.

It’s natural to have views about changes to employment conditions but, with or without them, I have no doubt protecting the people in your care will always be your first priority. I urge you to contribute to the consultation.

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  1. Comment by Kim Northwood posted on

    I am actually all for this, GPS have always had to have vaccinations as part of their employment and many nhs roles. I have also always had holiday vaccines that are required as part of a country's requirement without hesitation, so why wouldn't I as part of my employment. We choose our careers, I would still choose mine if it was mandatory to have the vaccine. Yes some will leave I'm sure, but those that choose this career pathway won't be put off my having to have the vaccine, and I have personally had more interest to come into this field to get their vaccine quicker.

  2. Comment by Hazel Murphy posted on

    Completely agree that paid carers need to have vaccination. Older and vulnerable people have no choice that they are more susceptible to Covid and we have a responsibility to all our citizens to keep them as safe as possible. If people chose to opt out of this responsibility then they are also knowingly choosing another career path.

  3. Comment by Debra posted on

    If you are working in a care home or hospital you should have to have a vaccination. I would not put any relative of mine in a care home without all of them being vaccinated. There is no excuse. You are there to help people and this is the main thing you can do. If you don't want a vaccine get a job elsewhere.

  4. Comment by Zoë Bright posted on

    I think vaccinations should be a condition of employment for all care home staff. Vaccinations are required for many similar jobs in hospitals and health centres. Surely anyone who chooses to enter a caring profession would want to do all in their power to keep those in their care healthy and safe. We are required to have vaccinations as a condition of travel to many countries in the world so why not to enter certain professions too.

  5. Comment by K M posted on

    I don’t agree forcing people to have vaccinated and it is against human rights and mental capacity act 2005. So many people have questions regarding the vaccines and need more information for long term side effects which no one knows at this point. We can’t be forced because we are working on this sector and it is indirect discrimination. Care workers were only took the risk and provide the care and worked hard on those scary time whilst everyone shield and people were dying everyday. This is wrong and mistreating the people who lost their life & risk everything to help others. If the vaccines are effective and can save 100% from the Covid-19, let the government continue to vaccine who are at risk and the people who are living at this setting. When the residents refused or can’t give consent we respect it but when staff say no and give their consent it won’t work or trying to blackmailing and putting some conditions which we can loose the job or won’t be employed by anyone in the care sector. Most people do this job not only for money, in that case it is the lowest payment we gate and most people don’t like to do what we are doing. Aafter all those hard time no one say let’s increase the salary at least to say thank you for everyone worked in the sector. They should think wisely and as far as I know most people living in the care home are vaccinated and give the care workers some respect to take their own decisions to do what they want on their own body. I don’t think it is to much to ask.

    • Replies to K M>

      Comment by Annique Johnson posted on

      Agreed !!! I’ve worked in care for 8 years now and have worked through the entire covid pandemic. I’ve put myself at risk for others on a daily basis. All the residents in my home are vaccinate bar one as there family don’t agree with it. I don’t think we should be forced to have this vaccination. We have LFd tests twice a week and one pcr test a week I don’t see why that isn’t enough. It’s a breach of human rights forcing us to have tbis vaccination. I’m hearing too many bad things about this Jab, my mum died of a blood clot & im only 28 and feel so uncomfortable at the thought of getting this jab. People cannot say we don’t care because I’ve cared for others for 8 years of my life. It’s basic human rights !

    • Replies to K M>

      Comment by John Smith posted on

      Care workers have the least rights of all working people.

  6. Comment by Sheila Armstrong posted on

    Why would people not have 'a' vaccine?
    Dealing with people who are vulnerable really puts a caring role in perspective...they need to be as safe as possible.
    Twice weekly Lateral Flow (done properly) should also be actioned.

    • Replies to Sheila Armstrong>

      Comment by Cr posted on

      You can still spread the virus even if you had jab it just stops hospitalisation on yourself so if people don’t want to have it they shouldn’t be forced to simple!!

  7. Comment by Stephanie Lee posted on

    Social care staff are already testing three times weekly and wearing ppe for full shifts. If the residents have had the vaccine, surely they are protected. Since when did anyone need to undergo a medical intervention to protect others? This is a step too far and I cannot agree with it.

    • Replies to Stephanie Lee>

      Comment by Marta posted on

      I agree with every word You said!

  8. Comment by KC posted on

    They say you have a duty of care to those you look after, fine i get that, but where is the duty of care for my own body? i am already being tested every shift, wearing full PPE (even with that i still caught covid from a service user) why should i be made no sorry FORCED into having a vaccine! If social media didn’t remove posts and claim it’s “mis-information” (how do they know this? the vaccine is still in an on going trial until 2023 how can they say it’s fake news?) if so many doctors weren’t on twitter stating negative reviews regarding the vaccine then maybe i would get it. but i will not be forced into having anything injected into my body for the sake of a job.

    • Replies to KC>

      Comment by SJ posted on

      I agree with this 100%!! I've worked in healthcare for almost 20 years and will not be forced to have a vaccine as a condition of my job. Only minimises hospital admissions/symptoms apparently, not the virus itself. There have actually been more admissions with people having adverse reactions to the vaccine than covid.

  9. Comment by Joanne Best posted on

    Can some one please tell me, why care worker’s who worked through the pandemic and risk not only their lives, but the lives of their families, are now being penalised if they have not had the COVID 19 vaccination, by being moved from homes they have worked in for year’s , this seem’s a bad way to treat staff who have supported Nexus by working through the worse pandemic the world has ever seen

  10. Comment by Joanne Best posted on

    If you were given no choice in every day living, how would you feel?, that is the question we need to ask our selves when dealing with the question of to force vaccination or to have the choice to choose vaccination

  11. Comment by Anastasija Krasnova posted on

    Totally disagree.

    • Replies to Anastasija Krasnova>

      Comment by Mark Osterloh posted on

      Please contribute your views to the consultation. Closes today!

  12. Comment by Valerie Bold posted on

    I have worked in a care home for 12 years worked all through COVID to look after our residents.Now things are relaxing you will find family members are relaxing to much they think having the jab makes it all over. I never took my job to be told what I have to do to safe guard residents I have done it for 12 years and I feel we have a right to choose for ourselves .when advising families on there loved ones they do not like it .We test ourselves all the time we are safer than most people.

  13. Comment by LCF posted on

    It is a very difficult subject and I can see both sides of the argument however I do genuinely believe that it should be mandatory for all staff with sectors which deal with vulnerable people and not only Care Homes. I work in care for many years and when I originally started there were mandatory vaccinations required. I fully support mandatory vaccination and I hope they will be agreed. I had both of mine and hope my team will to. I would like however to point one thing - please when you say it is a professional responsibility of the care staff remember to finally recognise them as Professionals!!!! And stop calling them unskilled!!!!! Within my setting those people kept your loved ones alive and maybe it is time to not only demand more from them but also offer more. Recognition and finally calling care staff professionals will help and make many feel that their sacrifice is recognised. I believe that staff when finally registered as professional, seen as professional and rewarded as professional will see professional responsibility. Staff called unskilled, paid national minimum for the most honest work that can ever be and than targeted for professional responsibility will see this as another slap in their faces. Clapping stopped blaming starts.
    Make it mandatory for professionals just also recognise them as such

  14. Comment by Kate Lanson posted on

    I strongly believe that it is discrimination and is against my human rights to be told that I can no longer work in the care sector if I do not have the vaccine. I am worried about the side effects. 4 residents died after having the 1st AstraZeneca vaccine, all had fatal blood clots and one developed breathing difficulties. The Drs said it was unrelated. I have a condition where I have extreme sensitivity to any medication. I have been hospitalised and have experienced anaphylaxis twice. I am now told by my employer that I cannot stay in my role as a care assistant as I have chosen to decline the vaccination? How is this allowed? I am going to a tribunal.

  15. Comment by Amy Latala-Roberts posted on

    Its all about choice and that is a basic human right. Mandating a vaccine is taking that choice away. Yes, drs and surgans have hep b as a condition of employment but carers have NEVER had to have manditory vaccines. My employer didn't even enforce the flu jab before. You should be Able to chose what goes into your own body, not the goverment. It's not carers fault covid ravaged care homes, care homes didn't request that there citizens should discarged back into their care without a test, that fault lies further up the chain.

  16. Comment by James posted on

    I have worked in care for years at the usual low pay we received ....I have become a team leader and have raised the standard of care where I work and our home has become outstanding ... I’ve worked all throughout covid where I Theres jumped ship and all wanted to shield!!!... I am not having this vaccine I am prepared to test myself every week..I am young not fat.. not ill... I would like to catch it and allow my body to have natural immunity. The people I look after are vaccinated and therefore protected. If forced to have the vaccine I will leave working in care.