Coronavirus Updates

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08th February 2022

Government plans to scrap mandatory vaccinations in the health and care sector welcomed

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid announced that the government is set to revoke the legal requirement for all health and social care staff in England to be double jabbed against COVID-19. He told the House of Commons that he believes it is “no longer proportionate” to require vaccination as a condition of deployment (VCOD).

The minister has been under pressure from many within the health service to scrap the mandate, arguing that it would lead to a severe staffing crisis as was seen in the social care sector at the end of last year.

QCS welcomes the announcement. But we are disappointed there has been no recognition of the damage to social care services wreaked by the ‘no jab no job’ policy that the Government previously imposed on care home staff. As everyone in the adult social care sector is aware, the introducton of VCOD in November resulted in the devastating loss of an estimated 40,000 staff and severe disruption to service delivery.

Home care or domiciliary staff would have had to be double vaccinated at the same time as NHS staff.  Providers will be relieved at the policy change, as they have been preparing for February 3,  the date by which staff needed to have had their first jab to make the April 2022 deadline.

Many employers had started dismissal procedures and feared they could lose 10% or more of their frontline care workers.

What we would now like the secretary to address is what this U-turn will mean for those who have already been dismissed due to vaccine requirements. We also need clarity about timetables, and what happens with staff dismissals already in the pipeline in relation to the second VCOD deadline.

We are relieved NHS and domiciliary staff will not face the same anguish that those in social care went through last November. We believe the consultation is important in ensuring that decisions for mandatory vaccinations will not be made for just one part of the health and care sector in future, and the impact of such decisions are clearly set out before they are taken.

Moreover, we are in favour of ‘persuasion, not compulsion’ when it comes to asking hesitant staff to be vaccinated.  Making jabs mandatory had catastrophic results when the demand for care was rising and our sector was losing staff exhausted by COVID-19 and with better pay offered elsewhere

It is of course the responsibility of care providers to conform to the ever-changing legislation and regulations, a time-consuming exercise to say the least. To relieve the pressure, QCS’ team of experts will monitor the situation and provide up-to-date compliance guidance on our online system.

We are hopeful that we are finally seeing the end of the COVID-19’s devastating impact on the health and social care sector, and we can look forward to a brighter future in the coming year.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Nikki Walker

Nikki as the Chief Executive Officer of QCS leads the company and is accountable for our ambitious growth targets and enabling QCS to scale. She is the guardian of our culture and coach to our amazing talent.

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