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Mandatory Vaccination Consultation in Care Homes (Last update: 15.04.21)
A five-week consultation has been launched on 14 April to seek views on whether staff working in care homes must have the covid vaccine to be able to work in the home. It will only apply to care homes for people aged over 65
The consultation is intending to change the law very quickly. The plan is to change the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. This is likely to be Regulation 12 – Safe Care and Treatment. It will mean that providers must assess the risk of, and prevent, detect and control the spread of, infections, including those that are healthcare-associated.
The Government propose to amend the Code of Practice on Infection Prevention and Control. This can be read as part of the consultation.
Why is the Government making these proposals?
You will have seen in the press discussion about No Jab No job. QCS ran a webinar on Thursday 8 April discussing this led by our Employment Law advisors and the implications of this. To prevent outbreaks of COVID that happened in 2020, the government scientist says that 80% of staff and 90% of residents need to be vaccinated. It is reported that although the numbers are increasing, as of 8 April 2021, 89 local authorities have a staff vaccination rate under 80%, including all 32 London Boroughs. 27 local authorities have a staff vaccination rate under 70%.
Who will need to have the COVID vaccine?
- All workers employed directly by the care home or care home provider (on a full-time or part-time basis),
- those employed by an agency and deployed by the care home, and volunteers deployed in the care home.
- those providing direct care and
- those working in care homes doing other roles, such as cleaners and kitchen staff.
Others who may need to be vaccinated
The Government is considering extending the requirement to include those people who come to the care home to provide professional services, or other care and support. This may include visiting professionals, in particular those who provide close personal care, such as health and care workers. It could also include hairdressers or visiting faith leaders.
The Government is considering the situation of ‘essential care givers’ – those friends or family who have agreed with the care home that they will visit regularly and provide personal care.
Who will be exempt?
Staff who have known allergies that mean they can’t have the vaccine or conditions listed in the green book will be exempt but these are expected to apply to a small amount of staff. Pregnancy, fear of vaccines or other reason for refusal is not a suggested option to be exempt.
You only have 5 weeks to have your say. You can access the consultation here. It closes on 21st May 2021 .
If you want to learn more about the implications of ‘No Jab no Job’ do watch our webinar.
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