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COVID-19 vaccinations to be mandatory for all nurses working in care homes

Staff will be given 16 weeks to be vaccinated or face redeployment or possible dismissal
Care home

Care home staff and others who work in care homes will be given 16 weeks to be vaccinated or face redeployment or possible dismissal

COVID-19 vaccinations will become mandatory for nurses working in care homes in England the government has announced and NHS staff may soon follow suit.

The new law, which will come into force in October, will apply to all nurses employed by care homes, agency nurses deployed to care homes and any nurses who enter care homes as part of their work. COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of deployment for care home staff was touted in a

Care home staff and others who work in care homes will be given 16 weeks to be vaccinated or face redeployment or possible dismissal

Picture: iStock

COVID-19 vaccinations will become mandatory for nurses working in care homes in England the government has announced and NHS staff may soon follow suit.

The new law, which will come into force in October, will apply to all nurses employed by care homes, agency nurses deployed to care homes and any nurses who enter care homes as part of their work. COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of deployment for care home staff was touted in a government consultation which closed on 26 May.

Consultations on broadening mandatory vaccinations to NHS staff will follow

The legislation means that – subject to parliamentary approval and a subsequent 16-week grace period – all staff working in a Care Quality Commission-registered care home in England will need to be vaccinated or face redeployment or possible dismissal.

Further to this, the government has announced that a consultation on mandatory COVID-19 and flu vaccinations for NHS staff as a condition of deployment will take place in due course.

These actions will bring the government into conflict with unions, such as the RCN, who are opposed to mandatory vaccination.

The college’s acting chief executive Pat Cullen said: ‘The RCN believes that making the vaccine easily available and encouraging all nursing staff to have it is the best way to increase uptake,’ she said.

Nursing Standard surveys show vaccination division among nurses

Nurse and managing director of Wren Hall Nursing Home in Nottingham Anita Astle said she fully supports the COVID-19 vaccination drive, but mandatory jabs make her uncomfortable. She questioned why staff were being targeted when anyone could potentially spread the virus.

‘We have families visiting, we have GPs, we have NHS professionals, we have social care professionals and solicitors. What about the people living in care homes, are we mandating they have it? Because if not they become a weak link,’ she said.

Nursing Standard surveys have shown nurses’ division on mandatory vaccination, with some declaring they would rather quit their job than be forced by their employer to have a flu jab.

Vaccine uptake figures

Data from NHS England shows that as of 10 June:

  • 68.7% (325,141) of staff in older adult care homes have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine
  • 82.1% (1,132,308) of staff in NHS trusts in England have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine


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