The chief executive of NHS Providers Chris Hopson has said there are between 80,000 and 100,000 NHS workers in England who have not had any vaccine.
The government are set to announce that from April next year all NHS staff in England must be vaccinated
Chris Hopson warned of the risk that workers could infect colleagues, patients and visitors.
He also warned that there is a risk to the NHS should large numbers of staff leave as a result of the government’s mandatory vaccination.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, “The other risk we need to manage is the fact that there is also a patient safety and a quality of care risk if the NHS does end up as a result of this losing significant numbers of staff.
“And that’s why we’ve said very clearly that we want the government to work very closely with us to maximise the number of people who take up the vaccination voluntarily before we hit the deadline, to think very carefully about the deadline because clearly we’re about to enter what we think is going to be the most difficult winter for the NHS on record.”
Hopson added, “Happy to say somewhere between 80,000 and 100,000.”
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation told Sky News that there are many in the health service who are “hesitant about the vaccine.”
He said, “Obviously we want everybody who works in the NHS to be vaccinated, that’s the right thing to do.
“Vaccination rates in the NHS are high and NHS leaders have been working very hard to get those rates as high as possible.
“But there are people in the NHS who… are hesitant about the vaccine.”