Hemel care workers criticise compulsory vaccinations for care home staff

'I feel angry about this because these people came in every day throughout the pandemic and carried on doing their job, and now they face the prospect of losing their jobs'

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 3:55 pm

Staff members from a care home in Hemel Hempstead have criticised rules on compulsory vaccinations that come into effect in November.

The carers have raised their concerns with the CQC as they say the policy would see their manager, deputy manager and some staff members lose their jobs next month.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has amended the Health and Social Care Act 2008, so that from November 11, 2021, anyone working or volunteering in a care home will need to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus, unless exempt.

The image has been used for illustrative purposes

The CQC is urging all relevant providers, managers and staff to read the guidance and take any necessary actions in order to be ready for when this duty is in place.

The requirement forms part of the fundamental standards and will be monitored and enforced in appropriate cases by CQC.

The CQC will not begin monitoring this until it becomes a duty in November, they will continue to use existing assessment and enforcement policies and take a proportionate approach.

One of the staff members, who has received the vaccine, said: "Our manager, deputy manager and some members of staff are going to lose their jobs in November, because they are not vaccinated.

"I feel angry about this because these people came in every day throughout the pandemic and carried on doing their job, and now they face the prospect of losing their jobs.

"They were on the frontline during the peak, but now they could have no job within the six weeks.

"It is not right, what happened to people's choices?

"I have reported my concerns to the CQC and they then went and told the manager that we were not happy that she has not got the vaccine, that is far from the truth.

"We support her choice, and we are not happy that she is being made to get the vaccine if she wants to keep her job.

"One of the ladies at the residential home, is also quite worried about these people losing their jobs, she is concerned about new people coming in, she feels safe around them, so why should they be forced to get the vaccine?"

The manager, who does not wish to be named, said: "I have chosen not to have the vaccine due to personal reasons, I have some medical issues and my faith.

"I also feel like it should not be forced upon you.

"The management has been supportive, but they are just following CQC.

"There is a policy in place and they have to follow it and I do understand that but unfortunately that means that in October I will be out of a job."

Kate Terroni, chief inspector of adult social care at CQC, said: “We will work with DHSC to ensure that this guidance is implemented fairly and proportionately.

"We would look to hold registered managers and providers to account in a way which is proportionate, however I also want to recognise that the majority of providers are working to comply with guidance and ensure everyone has access to a vaccine.

"I also want to pay tribute to the incredible efforts of care workers throughout the pandemic to ensure that the people in their care have been kept as safe as possible.”