National Care Provider Reacts to Compulsory Vaccination Deadline

FROM today (Thursday 11 November), care home workers across the country have to prove they have received both of their Covid-19 vaccinations, unless they are exempt, or face being dismissed from the sector, with an announcement confirming mandatory vaccinations for 1.45 million NHS workers being made yesterday as well.

James Allen, CEO of National Care Group, said: “Throughout the pandemic, our primary objective has been to keep the individuals we support, and our colleagues, safe and well. Our colleagues have worked tirelessly to achieve this objective and, as a result, transmission rates across our services have been relatively low.”

Since the vaccination programme went live, National Care Group tracked the uptake of vaccinations in colleagues across all of its services, providing colleagues with access to all-important information and support.

As part of this consultation phase, a university virologist was employed to host group sessions, where all colleagues were invited to talk through common concerns and learn about the vaccine. Further private, one-to-one sessions with the expert were also offered for those who were more comfortable speaking on an individual basis.

James added: “From the outset, we took a proactive approach in supporting the need for everybody associated with National Care Group to be vaccinated. We’ve worked with those who feel this is not the right choice for them and, regrettably, a very small number of colleagues working within our residential services have left the organisation.

“However, the loss of this small number of colleagues has not exacerbated the sector-wide pressures on services any further.  We are in a comparatively fortunate position to be able to say that vaccination rates for our colleagues have been very high. But we empathise with other providers in the industry that may be experiencing high numbers of colleagues not wishing to be vaccinated, at a time where we are already facing recruitment challenges. There are likely to be some challenging months ahead.”

An extension of the need for a mandatory vaccination beyond residential care services has just been announced and National Care Group has pledged to work with those who feel it is not a choice they wish to make.