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Compulsory vaccination: NHS nurses in Trafalgar Square protest

NHS nurses march in London ahead of mandatory deadline for COVID-19 vaccination that means unvaccinated staff could be redeployed or dismissed

NHS nurses in London demonstration ahead of mandatory deadline for COVID-19 vaccination that means unvaccinated staff could be redeployed or dismissed

Nurses were among thousands of marchers protesting against mandatory vaccination of NHS workers in London on Saturday.

They placed scrubs and uniforms in Trafalgar Square as a symbol of solidarity against the mandating of coronavirus jabs for NHS staff in England, a move that could lead to more than 70,000 people losing their jobs , according to a government impact assessment.

All patient-facing NHS staff will need to have had at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 3 February to meet the deadline of having had two by 1 April. Failure to comply could lead to redeployment or

NHS nurses in London demonstration ahead of mandatory deadline for COVID-19 vaccination that means unvaccinated staff could be redeployed or dismissed

Picture: Christopher Walls/SOPA Images

Nurses were among thousands of marchers protesting against mandatory vaccination of NHS workers in London on Saturday.

They placed scrubs and uniforms in Trafalgar Square as a symbol of solidarity against the mandating of coronavirus jabs for NHS staff in England, a move that could lead to more than 70,000 people losing their jobs, according to a government impact assessment.

All patient-facing NHS staff will need to have had at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 3 February to meet the deadline of having had two by 1 April. Failure to comply could lead to redeployment or dismissal.

Vaccine ‘critically important’ for healthcare staff

Deputy prime minister Dominic Raab urged staff in England played down suggestions the policy could be postponed in the face of huge staff absence.

‘I don’t expect us to go looking for people who have not been vaccinated but if people apply then they would be interviewed in the normal way’

Mark Drakeford, first minister of Wales

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme, Mr Raab said: ‘Nine out of 10 NHS staff have now come forward and had their vaccine. That is critically important.

‘The deadline is there to protect the most vulnerable in our hospitals, but we have got the resilience because we have got nearly 5,000 more doctors, nearly 11,000 more nurses than we did in 2020.’

Nursing job opportunities in Wales

Wales first minister Mark Drakeford said the country’s NHS would not rule out recruiting staff who had left their jobs in England due to the mandate.

Mr Drakeford told BBC Radio 4: ‘We’re not going to make vaccinations mandatory in our NHS, we haven’t in our social care services because we have succeeded by persuasion in getting the vast majority of people who work in our services to do the right thing and take up the protections that vaccination offers.

‘I don’t expect us to go looking for people who have not been vaccinated but if people apply then they would be interviewed in the normal way.’

Guidance to NHS employers on redeploying or dismissing unvaccinated staff

NHS England and NHS Improvement has issued guidance to all employers on how to redeploy front-line staff who have refused to have the vaccine, along with the dismissal process if an alternative job cannot be found.

MPs will debate a petition this evening, signed by almost 600,000 people, calling on employers to be blocked from making COVID-19 vaccination a condition of employment.


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