From today all care home workers who have not been vaccinated are no longer allowed to work in care homes as the government introduced a mandatory jab policy.
Business Minister Paul Scully said that care home workers were given “plenty of warning” to get both vaccines.
Scully told Sky News, “They have had 12 weeks to have their vaccination. I would hope and expect that those people would have that duty of care to the people they are there to serve and protect – those people, the most vulnerable in our society, the people who are most likely to be hospitalised and, I’m afraid, to die of Covid.
“That’s what that measure has been all about and that’s why we’re determined to make sure that continues.”
Scully also said that he had hoped unvaccinated care workers would have “reconsidered” and woud have been vaccinated before today’s deadline.
He told LBC radio, “I’d hope that people would, if they haven’t had their vaccination, go back and reconsider and get that vaccination done if they want to continue working with those vulnerable people.”
When asked what will happen to those requiring care who might lose support due to the new policy, Scully told the radio host, “I think there is little point in having people have care off people who may, unfortunately, help to transmit the disease and send them to hospital.
“So it is a slightly circular discussion and we want to make sure that people who are receiving care can be as safe as possible.”
Vic Rayner, chief executive of the National Care Forum, said there’s a “human cost” to the mandatory jab policy for care home staff.
“It’s really challenging for organisations all across the country and I think there’s a very human cost to this policy,” she said, pointing to the cost for the staff leaving, for the people they cared for and the breach of trust between staff and employers asking them to leave,” she told BBC Breakfast.
“What it feels like for the care home sector is that we’ve been sort of guinea pigs around the implementation and rollout of this policy.”
Rayner was asked about the impact of the staff losses, she added, “People who need care who aren’t currently in receipt of it are unable to get it.
“You are also seeing organisations who are saying, unfortunately, they’re no longer able to provide the care for people they have been doing.”