Lack of understanding of care sector
CARE providers are furious after the Government delayed compulsory Covid-19 vaccination for NHS staff until April but continued with the plan for care workers this month.
The Government today announced that mandatory vaccination for NHS workers would be delayed until April after listening to concerns about the impact it might have on staffing levels during the busy, winter period.
But it has not made any such announcement for social care workers, for whom mandatory vaccination is due to come in next week (11 November).
This despite warnings that it could rob the sector of up to 60,000 care staff at a time when vacancies within care are running at over 100,000 and providers are struggling to cope.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) says the Government should rethink the “no jab, no job” policy for care workers too, in the light of its decision on NHS workers.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “We need help, not hindrances.
“What is the point in keeping hospitals working if there is nowhere to discharge patients to if homecare providers don’t have the staff to care for people at home and there are no staff for care and nursing homes?
“The Government has listened to the NHS’s concerns about the winter but ignored social care saying the same thing, time and time again.
“The Government has no understanding of how social care and NHS care need to work together.
“To delay this deadline for NHS workers but maintain the deadline for care workers makes no sense. Vaccination for care workers should be a personal choice, but if it is to be made mandatory it should at the very least be pushed back until April, like the NHS.
“Time and time again, the Government demonstrates that it doesn’t understand the relationship between NHS and social care. To spare the NHS this draconian measure but still impose it on social care staff is plain wrong.
“Don’t they understand that helping the NHS is pointless unless you support social care too. The two do not and cannot work independently of each other and yet here is another example of the Government believing they can.
“The Government is blind to just how deep the crisis in recruitment has become in social care and we are feeling the consequences with homecare providers unable to deliver care in people’s own homes through staffing shortages and care and nursing homes battling to fill their shifts.”