Over the last 4 months debates have raged about whether or not carers should be vaccinated to do their job, and by extension if they refuse should they be dismissed. On the 11th November 2021 staff in care homes must be dismissed if they are not double vaccinated (without a medical reason), and this is to be extended to the NHS and home care in April 2022.
Everyone has an opinion, ……if you work with vulnerable people part of the job is to protect them and it should be “no jab, no job”. Others cite human rights, that the vaccine effects are unproven, and why care home staff 4 months before the NHS. It is likely that to work in care people will have to have had 3 jabs in 10 months. I had one in January, one in April and one in November. A booster each year is acceptable – but going forward I don’t fancy three jabs every year.
Whatever your view on vaccinations, another danger has emerged over the last 4 months – chronic care staff shortage. In truth a lack of people wanting to work in care has gathered pace for at least the last 5 years, probably 10 years. For whatever reason, the NHS and care sector are just not getting job applicants, so to dismiss staff through no vaccine can only put more pressure on the sector and also puts vulnerable people at risk.
As Winter approaches it is suddenly dawning on the Government that if care homes, and home care cannot help people due to a lack of staff then people have no other place but to stay in hospital, and this is turn stops others being admitted from an Ambulance, or having their long planned surgery. This week it was announced 6 million people are on the waiting list for an operation, and it rises by 100,000 each month.
As the owner of a home care business I will leave mandatory vaccine decision making to the Government. However, we would like to know when the Government states “no jab, no job” who they will provide to cover the work of carers who choose not to be vaccinated, and how they will tackle the lack of candidates for care jobs.