Almost 300 Hertfordshire care home staff left their jobs in the run-up to mandatory Covid vaccination
The majority of staff are double-vaccinated
Almost 300 staff have left their jobs in Hertfordshire care homes in the run-up to mandatory vaccination.
From November 11, care home staff have been required to have had two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine or have a medical exemption.
The majority of care home staff in the county – 97 per cent – are now reported to have been double-vaccinated.
But in the eight weeks before vaccination became mandatory, it has emerged that 297 staff opted to leave their care home jobs.
And last week there were still more than 200 care home staff who had had to be redeployed in the short term, while they wait to have their second jab.
Officials at Hertfordshire County Council accept that there may now be staff shortages in some care homes.
But they say they are working with those care homes to ensure that the quality and continuity of care is not disrupted.
Commenting on the vaccination of care home staff, a spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council said: “Ninety-seven per cent of health and social care workers in Hertfordshire working in CQC registered residential and nursing care settings are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
“And we expect that number to rise as more staff are receiving their second jab this week.”
He said that where staff are still waiting to receive their second dose, the county council had worked with providers to redeploy them into non-care roles, until they can legally provide this support to residents.
And he said that they had worked with local agencies to make sure fully qualified, temporary staff were available to support them in the interim.
He also acknowledged the number of staff who had left care home roles in recent weeks – though some may have left for reasons other than compulsory vaccination.
“Since 16 September, the date when staff needed to get their first jab to meet the deadline, 297 people who had previously worked in residential or nursing care have decided to leave the health and social care sector,” he said.
“While we believe some of these are leaving because of the new vaccination requirement, this number also includes people who have left for other reasons.
“Whatever people’s reasons for leaving, we’d like to thank them for all they have done to help keep both older and less able residents safe.”
He stressed the need to ensure residents continued to receive quality care. And he highlighted the vital role played by those who work in social care.
“The wellbeing of people receiving care is our priority and where we know there may be staff shortages in residential or nursing homes, we have worked with local agencies to make sure that staff are deployed in a timely way so that the quality and continuity of care is not disrupted,” he said.
“We hope that the pandemic has shown just how vital social care is to so many people, for this reason we’re continuing to encourage anyone who feels that they could make a difference to people’s lives to consider a career in care. You can find out more and apply at: www.hertsgoodcare.com “