Hospital Dr News

Consultation launched on compulsory vaccination for health workers

The Government has launched a consultation on mandating vaccination for frontline health and social care staff in England.

Government figures suggest the percentage of NHS trust staff who have received 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is around 92% nationally, with 88% of staff having received both doses.

However, there is variation in uptake with new datashowing that between NHS trusts, uptake rates can vary from around 78% to 94% for both doses. 

The UK government recently introduced new legislation, effective from 11 November 2021, that requires people working in care homes to be Covid-19 vaccinated.

The consultation will explore extending mandatory vaccination to health workers

Mandatory vaccination is designed, according to the government, to ensure care home residents are better protected from the risk of death and serious illness that can arise from contracting Covid-19.

France has agreed on similar legislation affecting healthcare professionals.

The rules will mean that anyone seeking to work in such a care home will have to have been double vaccinated.

The duty will apply not only to employees, but will also extend to all agency workers, volunteers, healthcare workers and tradespeople that might be engaged by the home.

Those medically exempt will not have to be vaccinated and, similarly, any visitors of care home residents will also be excluded from the new requirements.

The Department of Health and Social Care issued guidance on the matter on 4 August.

Covid consequences

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said he would consider the responses to the consultation carefully.

“Many patients being treated in hospitals and other clinical settings are most at risk of suffering serious consequences of COVID-19, and we must do what we can to protect them,” he added.

Commenting on the development, Dr Penelope Toff, co-chair of the BMA public health medicine committee, said: “The notions of making vaccines compulsory for anyone, including healthcare workers, is very complex and raises many ethical, legal and practical questions. Vaccination programmes work best when people have a chance to get their questions answered and are able to make an informed decision.

“A thorough consultation is really important.”

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, added: “We will need to understand the detail of the proposals, but the focus must remain on increasing vaccine confidence and the approach taken to date to encourage uptake through informed consent remains the preferred option.”

Bookmark and Share

Post a Comment

Enter this security code

Submit Comment for Moderation