The Government has laid out its timeline for care home workers to receive their mandatory Covid vaccinations, after the controversial ruling was announced in June.
The guidance published yesterday confirmed care home workers must receive their first Covid jab by 16 September. This is so they are fully vaccinated by the time regulations come into force on 11 November making Covid vaccinations compulsory for care home staff.
The rule stops anyone entering a CQC-registered care provider without being double vaccinated. Exemptions to the rule include people visiting residents, medical reasons, emergency assistance or urgent maintenance, or children.
The guidance stated: ‘It would be unjustifiably detrimental to residents to deprive them of contact with, and care from, their loved ones.
‘This includes the person who is visiting a resident who is dying or visiting a person to provide comfort or support to a resident in relation to a resident’s bereavement following the death of a relative or friend,’ it added.
The responsibility for ensuring everyone who enters the care home is vaccinated or exempt is ‘ultimately’ down to the care home manager, it also said.
This comes after care minister Helen Whately signed off an amendment to the Health and Social Care Act 2008 on 22 July, providing a 16-week grace period for staff to get fully vaccinated.
The mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for social care staff proved controversial after they were announced in June, with care home leaders giving warnings to Nursing in Practice the requirement could worsen existing recruitment and retention problems.
Mike Padgham, Independent Care Group chair and owner of Saint Cecilia’s Care Services in Yorkshire, told Nursing in Practice that ‘no one should be forced to receive the vaccine’ and warned the requirement could ‘be a barrier to recruitment and retention’ in the already struggling sector.