Covid jab deadline looms on unvaccinated care staff in Nottinghamshire
One in 18 care home staff in Nottinghamshire have not received a single dose of the coronavirus vaccine, figures reveal, as the deadline for compulsory jabs looms.
From Thursday, care home staff will be required by law to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus to work.
However, charity Care England says many of the care providers it represents are concerned about a possible ‘exodus’ of workers across the country this winter, while care workers' union Unison is calling for the jab deadline to be postponed.
NHS England data shows 477 of the 8,725 people working in older adult care homes in Nottinghamshire were yet to receive a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on October 24 – the latest available data.
It means five per cent of care home staff in the area face losing their jobs this week.
A further 949 workers who had received their first dose were still awaiting their second jab as of October 24.
Care staff were told to have their first jab by September 16 to meet the November 11 cut-off.
However, nationally, about 25,600 people working in older adult care homes were unvaccinated by October 24 – six per cent of the workforce.
Some 51,000 were yet to get their second dose.
Prof Martin Green, Care England chief executive officer, said: “The adult social care sector cannot support the NHS this winter unless it is adequately resourced, staffed and recognised.”
Gavin Edwards, Unison's officer for care, said losing more staff during winter risks leaving people needing care with nowhere to turn.
He said: “Employers and unions in social care want to see maximum take-up of the vaccine.
“Jab rates were steadily rising and, although the threat of being sacked will have persuaded some staff, it’s also prompted many others to leave.
“Ministers should pause the jab deadline until at least spring.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Vaccines save lives and while staff and residents in care homes have been prioritised and the majority are now vaccinated, it is our responsibility to do everything we can to protect vulnerable people.
“We are working closely with local authorities and care home providers to ensure there will always be enough staff with the right skills to deliver high quality care.”