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12th November 2021

Homecare Workers Face Significant Loss of Staff if Vaccination Becomes a Condition of Deployment

Homecare providers believe they could lose almost 25% of their staff who provide care to older and disabled people in their own homes, if vaccination becomes a condition of deployment.

The figures are attributed to new research by the Homecare Association. It revealed three quarters of homecare providers believe they would lose between 0-24% of their workforce.

Furthermore, a quarter of homecare providers surveyed thought they would lose more than 25% of their staff.

Responses were received from 150 homecare providers across all regions of England, who provide care to 27,000 people and employ 33,500 staff.

More than 90% of respondents thought it was certain or likely that recruitment will become harder if this comes into force and over 80% thought it was likely they would need to dismiss staff as a result.

Of those reporting that they would lose 25% or more of their workforce, most of the regions of England were represented, except the South West.

Other key findings included:

  • 30% of providers thought it was certain or likely that they would be able to continue business as usual. 64% thought that business as usual was unlikely or would not happen.
  • 86% of providers thought that it was certain or likely that there would be increased recruitment costs.
  • 93% thought it was certain or likely that it would be harder to recruit (including 74% thinking this was certain).
  • 84% thought it was certain or likely they would need to dismiss staff (including 58% who thought this was certain).
  • 79% thought that it was certain or likely that they would have to reduce the number of hours per week delivered.

Emily Watts, Domiciliary Care Policy Lead at QCS said “Recruitment has always been a concern in homecare and the pandemic had already accentuated this fact. The Homecare Association findings add to this and provide a clear indication from those within the sector of what might happen if vaccinations are made compulsory; let’s hope the government take this into consideration when announcing an outcome to the consultation in the near future.”

Commenting on the survey, Homecare Association CEO, Dr Jane Townson, said the body was in support of mandatory vaccination.

“We are, however, warning of a risk of losing a quarter of our workforce at a time when demand is rising, and recruitment and retention are harder than ever. This creates a serious risk that homecare will not be available for tens of thousands of older and disabled people who are wholly reliant on support. Who will care for them?

We feel it's very important to balance the mitigated risk of infection with the risk of unavailability of care at home for highly dependent older and disabled people.

Our belief is that persuasion will be more effective than compulsion at encouraging vaccination of those with genuine fears, without losing vital workforce capacity”.

Public consultation on introducing vaccination as a condition of deployment across health and domiciliary care closed last month. A government response is expected soon. Mandatory vaccination for people working or deployed in care homes in England comes into force on 11 November 2021.

Find out more

Who will care? Risks of making vaccination a condition of deployment in homecare

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