NHS staff who refuse vaccination could be moved to back-office roles according to care minister

Nurse Eleanor Pinkerton prepares a coronavirus vaccine to be given to a health and care staff member at the NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow, as part of a mass vaccination drive by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Picture date: Saturday January 23, 2021.
Nurse Eleanor Pinkerton prepares a coronavirus vaccine to be given to a health and care staff member at the NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow, as part of a mass vaccination drive by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Picture date: Saturday January 23, 2021.

The Government has launched a six-week consultation on making vaccination a condition of deployment

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Health and care workers who refuse to get vaccinated could be moved to back-office roles, the care minister has suggested.

Helen Whately said there were people who could not have the Covid-19 vaccine for medical reasons but those who decline the jab could lose their frontline jobs.

She told Times Radio: “You can look at whether there are alternative ways somebody could be deployed, for instance, in a role that doesn’t involve frontline work, or doesn’t involve being physically in the same setting as the patient, whether it’s, for instance, working on 111, something like that.

“So we could look at alternative roles for individuals, these are exactly the sorts of things that we can investigate.”

The Government has launched a six-week consultation on making vaccination a condition of deployment for frontline workers in health and care settings.

It means staff could be required to have both Covid and flu vaccines to protect patients from infection, serious illness or death.

Some 92% of NHS staff have had their first dose of a coronavirus jab while 88% have had both doses.

Figures published by NHS England on Thursday suggest that 233,181 social care staff, outside of those working in older age care homes, are yet to be vaccinated.

Some 82.7% of staff working in care homes for younger adults, or in domiciliary care, have had a first jab, as have 74.9% of those working in other settings, such as non-registered providers and those employed by local authorities.

Some 88,500 (17.3%) staff working in care homes for younger adults, or in domiciliary care, have not yet had a first jab or their first jab has not yet been reported.

The same applies to 144,681 staff (25.1%) working in other settings, such as non-registered providers and those employed by local authorities.

Workers in registered care homes have already been told they will need to be double jabbed as a condition of deployment in England’s care homes by November 11, unless they are exempt.