Staff in the care sector in England must have had their first Covid-19 vaccine dose by September 16 and be double-jabbed by November 11 to continue working
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As many as 135 care home staff in one town could lose their jobs later this year – as they have yet to be vaccinated.
Staff in the care sector in England must have had their first Covid-19 vaccine dose by September 16 and be double-jabbed by November 11 to continue working.
And, according to data from Bolton Council, 135 (6 per cent) staff in the town have not yet received their first vaccination dose as of 10am on Thursday.
That is out of the 2,235 staff employed in Bolton care homes.
Unions have attacked the government policy and say that across country, thousands of vulnerable people could be put at risk by what they describe as the “no jab, no job” care homes policy.
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However, local health chiefs believe the actual figure will be lower.
They say some homes may not have reported the most recent data and that staff on maternity leave or long-term sick who are unvaccinated or who have not been able to prove their status will be shown in these figures.
Bolton Council’s quality assurance team has spoken to all homes who reported staff unvaccinated, and the care homes advised that there will be approximately 70 (three per cent) staff who will refuse to be vaccinated and not be able to continue to work in care homes after November 11.
The council said that 10 of the 57 registered care homes in Bolton achieved 100 per cent of staff having received their first dose vaccination.
Coun Andy Morgan, executive cabinet member for adult services, said “The mandatory vaccination of front-line care staff will obviously result in the loss of valuable staff form the care home workforce and could undoubtedly pose some difficulties in the short term which is regrettable.
“However, homes affected are actively recruiting replacement staff and I would urge anyone thinking about making social care their profession to step forward and become part of what is an amazing team.”
The Unison union estimates that up to 70,000 care home workers in England may not be fully vaccinated by the deadline.
They believe mandatory vaccination should be scrapped or thousands of people may lose out on the support they need.
Unison said there are more than 112,000 vacancies in care and the government itself predicts the loss of 40,000 to 70,000 workers because of its “no jab, no job” care homes policy.
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Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Everyone that can have the vaccine, should have the vaccine.
“But the government has persisted with a heavy-handed approach despite warnings from care employers of the dire consequences.
“This move is damaging a sector already on its knees and undermining trust in the vaccine.
“If roles can’t be filled, the level and volume of care offered will be reduced.
“Vaccine-hesitant staff must be offered reassurance and persuasion, not threats and ultimatums.
“Instead of encouraging much-needed recruitment into care, the government is actively driving experienced staff away.”