Care home workers who are not prepared to get the Covid vaccine should get another job, Sajid Javid has said.
The health secretary stated that he would not “pause” the requirement for all care staff in England to be fully vaccinated by November 11th.
His remarks follow warnings that if workers are forced to leave, some homes will be unable to cope.
The National Care Association has urged the government to postpone the immunisation deadline in order to give staff more time.
It claims that if care homes have to reduce resident numbers, it will have a negative impact on the NHS.
Anyone working in a Care Quality Commission-registered care home in England will be required to be fully vaccinated beginning November 11, unless they have a medical exemption.
“If you work in a care home, you are working with some of the most vulnerable people in our country, and if you cannot be bothered to go and get vaccinated, then get out and go and get another job,” Mr Javid said on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. If you want to look after them (care home residents), cook for them, feed them, and put them to bed, you should get vaccinated. “If you are not going to get vaccinated, then why are you working in care?”
The government claims that mandatory vaccinations in nursing homes will save lives and are a “sensible and reasonable step” to protect care home workers and those around them.
According to Nadra Ahmed, chairman of the National Care Association, care homes have already overcome significant staff resistance to the vaccines.
In November of last year, she stated that only 40% of her staff said they would get it, but 86 percent are now fully vaccinated.
“We are not anti-vaccine,” she told Today. What we mean is that we needed a little more time to get everyone where they needed to go.”
She stated that if the deadline is not extended, the consequences for care homes and the broader health sector will be severe.
“The staffing situation is chronic right now, and the deadline will only exacerbate it,” she said.
“There will be providers who are no longer able to staff their services safely, which can only mean they will have to hand back contracts.”
“They’ll have to consider whether they can reduce the number of beds they use to stay open, which will have a direct impact on the NHS’s ability to discharge people from hospitals and into care settings.”