News

Agency and social care nurses less likely than NHS staff to have had first COVID-19 jab

Nurses who haven’t received first dose tend to work outside health service, survey suggests
social care worker wearing face mask has a conversation with a client

Slower access to coronavirus vaccine for nurses outside health service than for NHS employees

A nurses leader is calling on the government to ensure agency or temporary nursing staff and those working outside the NHS are offered a coronavirus vaccine.

Research appears to suggest that most nurses who have not yet been offered immunisation are practising outside the health service.

This, despite official guidance that a vaccine should be available to all health and social care staff.

Employers have responsibility for staffs access to vaccines

A survey answered by 24,370 RCN members working across all sectors found 3,651 (15%) had yet to be offered vaccination. Of these, 2,555 (70%) worked outside the NHS.

Slower access to coronavirus vaccine for nurses outside health service than for NHS employees

social care nurse wearing a face mask talks to client
Picture: iStock

A nurses’ leader is calling on the government to ensure agency or temporary nursing staff and those working outside the NHS are offered a coronavirus vaccine.

Research appears to suggest that most nurses who have not yet been offered immunisation are practising outside the health service.

This, despite official guidance that a vaccine should be available to all health and social care staff.

Employers have responsibility for staff’s access to vaccines

A survey answered by 24,370 RCN members working across all sectors found 3,651 (15%) had yet to be offered vaccination. Of these, 2,555 (70%) worked outside the NHS.

The research was conducted between 29 January and 2 February.

RCN general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: ‘Employers are ultimately responsible for ensuring all their staff are able to access the vaccine. But the government must intervene now, as our members have proved this is clearly not the case.

‘The joint committee on vaccination and immunisation (JCVI) guidance is clear that the COVID-19 vaccine should be available to all health and social care staff irrespective of where they are employed, including agency staff and those employed in the independent sectors.’

‘On track for vaccination of priority groups including health and care workers’

A Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said it is following the JCVI advice on prioritising health and social care workforce vaccinations.

‘The NHS is working at pace to vaccinate [health and social care staff] and we are on track to offer a vaccination to everyone in the first four priority groups by mid-February.’

Nursing staff vaccination rates: more survey numbers crunched

The research was conducted in the period 29 January to 2 February 2021. Figures rounded up or down

  • 20,714 (85%) survey respondents said they had had their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine
  • 341 (35%) of 975 agency staff and 92 (19%) of 487 temporary staff responding said they had not been offered a vaccine
  • 20,958 permanent employees responded to the questionnaire and of these, 1,257 (6%) said they had not been offered a vaccine
  • The survey was sent to 450,000 RCN members

Source: RCN COVID-19 vaccine survey report


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursingchildrenandyoungpeople.com
  • Bi-monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs