The Minister for Care Helen Whately has written to local authorities, care providers and directors of adult social services following the publication of a standard operating procedure to support the vaccination of all community-based frontline social care workers.
The NHS Covid vaccination programme will offer a first vaccination appointment to all eligible frontline social care workers by mid-February.
To ensure we can vaccinate as many staff as quickly and as safely as possible, care providers are working with their local authority and local NHS vaccination teams to ensure all eligible staff can access a vaccination using hospital hubs, local GPs, vaccinations centres or community pharmacies while ensuring continuity of care.
All eligible staff will receive a letter with information about how and when they will receive their vaccination.
Minister for Care, Helen Whately said:
“I have seen for myself how incredibly hard the social care sector has worked throughout this pandemic to provide safe, compassionate care to some of the most at risk people in our society.
“Vaccines are our way out of this pandemic and this guidance will help us offer a jab to everyone in the top four priority groups, including frontline social care staff.
“By getting vaccinated, care workers can help protect themselves from becoming seriously ill from Covid-19 so they can continue to be there for their family, friends, and the people they care for.”
Sir David Pearson, Chair of the Covid-19 Social Care Support Taskforce said:
“The social care sector is even more diverse than the NHS and involves a significant number of different employers, including individual service users – this makes any vaccine rollout challenging.
“Throughout the pandemic we have strengthened relationships with local authorities, service users and providers and this additional guidance will play an important part in rolling out the crucial vaccine to staff working across the sector. This shot in the arm will give staff the protection they need to work our way out of the pandemic and back to life as we knew it.”
Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, Deborah Sturdy said:
“Working on the frontline throughout the pandemic I have seen the fantastic health and care workforce rise to countless challenges to go the extra mile for those they care and support, and I know so many have been looking forward to the day a vaccine arrives.
“The guidance will help providers, councils and those on the frontline, social care nurses, home care workers or personal assistants understand what steps they have to take. I would urge everyone to take up the offer of a vaccination as soon as it comes, to give you the protection you need to do the job you have been doing so brilliantly throughout the pandemic.”