From October, 2021 the new legislation subject to Parliamentary approval and a subsequent 16 week grace period- anyone that is working in a CQC registered care home in England for residents requiring nursing or personal care must have 2 doses of any COVID-19 vaccine unless they have a medical exemption stopping them having the vaccine. It will apply to any care home worker whether your employed by the care home itself or a care home provider or through a agency even if you are a volunteer. If you are coming into the care home to do other work such as: healthcare workers, hairdressers, tradespeople etc will also have to have two doses of the vaccine.
If the new legislation is approved by the Parliament there will be a 16-weel grace period from when the regulations are made to when they will come into force to enable staff who haven’t been vaccinated to take the vaccine. A majority of adult social care staff will be eligible for their second dose 8 weeks after their first vaccine.
The new legislation is aimed to protect all care home residents from serious illness and death, the Government have been working tirelessly to make the vaccine accessible to people living and working in care homes- the NHS has visited all eligible care homes in England and has offered vaccines to all their staff. The new regulations follow an extensive consultation with the social care sector, staff, residents and their families on the issue.
The Government will launch a further public consultation in due course on whether or not to make COVID-19 and flu vaccination a condition of deployment in health and care settings. This is a complex issue and the Government is looking for a wide range of perspectives from across the health and care sector about whether this should be introduced and how it could be implemented.
Minister for Care, Helen Whatley said: “People working in care homes have played an incredible important role throughout the pandemic caring for those most at risk from this terrible virus. The vaccine is working, with over 14,000 lives saved so far. Its only right that we take every possible step tp protect those most at risk now and in the long term. I want to take this opportunity to urge everyone working in social care to take up the jab if they haven’t already to protect those they care for, themselves and those they work alongside.”
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said: “Vaccines save lives and while staff and residents in care homes have been prioritised and the majority are now vaccinated we need to do everything we can to keep reducing the risk. Through our consultation we have listened to the experiences and concerns of providers and people living and working in care homes to help shape our approach. We have a responsibility to do all we can to safeguard those receiving care including in the NHS and so will be consulting further on whether to extend to other health and social care workers. This is the right thing to do and a vitally important step to continue protecting care homes now and in the future. I’d urge anyone working in care homes to get their jab as soon as possible. There will be exceptions for visiting family and friends, under 18s, emergency services and people undertaking urgent maintenance work.”