Care bosses issue desperate plea for No10 to delay or ditch its ‘timebomb’ no jab, no jab policy with up to 60,000 unjabbed staff facing sack on THURSDAY – as sector warns homes will CLOSE because there were already 100k vacancies before Covid struck


November 8, 2021 by Luke Andrews Health Reporter For Mailonline
Nadra Ahmed, from the National Care Association, called on Boris Johnson to halt the double-jab plans
Health leaders have warned it will spark a mass exodus of up to 60,000 workers  — a tenth of the workforce
Unions representing employees have also called for the policy to be delayed or dropped by officials 
Care bosses have today issued a desperate appeal for No10 to delay or even ditch its ‘timebomb’ no jab, no job policy over fears 60,000 workers will be sacked within days. 
From Thursday all care home workers must have received two doses of a Covid vaccine or face losing their jobs.
Unions have warned a tenth of the sector’s entire workforce will be forced out of employment, which could see already under-staffed homes have to close. There were already more than 100,000 vacancies across the social care sector in England before ministers confirmed the controversial policy.
Nadra Ahmed, chair of the National Care Association, today called on Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Sajid Javid to halt the plans to avoid harming society’s most vulnerable.
Calling on the Government to U-turn on the policy, she told MailOnline: ‘The impact of this legislation will create additional pressures not only for social care provision but close doors to the NHS for options relating to discharge for vulnerable people into social care.
‘It’s not too late for the Secretary of State (Mr Javid) and, indeed, the Prime Minister to halt this legislation in the best interests of the people we care for. We are at the 11th hour, and it is a ticking timebomb. The damage will be far reaching, but even now halting this will help us to get through the winter.’ 
Unions representing workers in the sector are also calling on ministers to pause or even abandon the plans, saying the heavy-handed approach could do ‘more harm than good’.
One care worker with more than a decade of experience Louise Akester, 36, was made redundant from Alderson House in Hull today after she failed to get vaccinated. In a tearful video she said: ‘That’s the hardest thing I’ve had to do, saying goodbye to everybody, all the people I’ve care for, for so long, the people I’ve worked for.’  
More than nine in ten employees have already got two doses of the Covid vaccine, official figures show. Industry bosses have warned up to 500 homes face being closed down because of the policy, which would leave them without ‘enough staff to operate safely’. 
Ministers are already considering whether all NHS staff should be required to get two doses of the Covid vaccine, although it seems likely the move will not be brought in until April. 
The above graph shows the proportion of staff working in care homes for the over-65s who have received their first and second doses of the vaccine. It reveals that there was no sharp surge in uptake when the jabs were made compulsory
Louise Akester, 36, pictured, was fired because of government requirements from November 11 that all care workers in adult care homes, who do not have medical exemptions, are double jabbed
Covid vaccines are set to be compulsory for social care workers from November 11. Pictured above is care home worker Louise Akester, 36, from Hull, who made an emotional video as she finished her final shift at Alderson House care home
Ms Ahmed said the Association — which represents small and medium care providers across the country — was hearing from councils who fear the move will worsen the staffing crisis.
At one provider outside London, she claimed eight homes had closed in the last five months due to a shortage of employees. And she claimed another in the East of England has already let go of 350 employees because they are not fully vaccinated.
Some homes have also stopped taking NHS patients entirely, leaving hospitals unable to free up spare beds for emergencies. 
Ms Ahmed said: ‘The greatest impact of all this will be on the vulnerable people that we care for, who will have an uncertain future.
NHS staff should be forced to have the jab BEFORE winter, says former Health Secretary Matt Hancock 
NHS workers should be forced to get two doses of the Covid vaccine before winter, disgraced former Health Secretary Matt Hancock said today.
Mr Hancock — who quit in June after breaching his own social distancing rules by kissing a married colleague — said the move would act as another ‘tool to save lives’ during what is projected to be a harsh winter for the health service.
He also scorned NHS staff who are still not vaccinated and don’t have a valid medical reason, warning that it was their ‘moral duty’ and that they had ‘ignored all the scientific and clinical advice’.
Ministers have for weeks been considering whether to make Covid jabs compulsory within the health service after pushing through the requirement for care home workers in the summer.
But last week the Health Secretary Sajid Javid appeared to push back the plans until April after being warned by NHS bosses that introducing the policy now could leave hospitals understaffed at a crucial period.
There are also concerns about whether the move is even necessary, given that more than nine in 10 NHS staff are already vaccinated.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Hancock, who was Health Secretary for three years, warned ministers against delaying compulsory vaccinations for the sector into the new year.
He said: ‘Having looked at all the evidence, I am now convinced we must require vaccination for everyone who works not just in social care but the NHS — and get it in place as fast as possible… So as we prepare to a face a difficult winter, let’s use all the tools we have to save lives.
‘Imagine the cancer patient, already battling another deadly disease, being cared for by a nurse. Who can put their hand on their heart and say they’d be happy to tell that patient their nurse could have the vaccine, but has chosen against all scientific and clinical advice to ignore it.’ Mr Hancock said doctors and nurses had a ‘moral duty’ to get the Covid vaccine to protect their patients.
‘They may well end up in the care of the NHS if other providers are not able to support them.’ 
UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: ‘It’s not too late for the Government to delay the start of the double-jab rule in care. Or better still ditch it altogether.
‘Ministers were warned this heavy-handed approach would cause more harm than good.
‘Care homes now risk losing so many staff some will no longer be able to stay open. This would mean upheaval and distress for many elderly residents and their families.’
Care home worker Ms Akester is one of thousands that have been affected by the rule.
Sobbing in a video taken in her car, she said it was ‘unfair’ that workers had to be jabbed while visitors were not required to be inoculated. 
The care worker claimed she was not opposed to being vaccinated but did not want to get the Covid jab until more was known about the long-term side effects. 
She told HullLive last week: ‘When I have to leave that building at the end of my final shift knowing that I can no longer return as an employee, all because apparently now I’m not good enough to protect them due to refusing the vaccines.
‘This choice should be my basic human right. I do not deserve to be punished for saying “no”.’
She added: ‘I genuinely love my job with all my heart, I only earn minimum wage so believe me it isn’t the money keeping me there.’
‘They’ve contacted from all over nationally, not just Hull. Some in the Hull area want to meet up in the future and compare notes on our experiences.
‘It’s nice to know I’m not alone, that there’s other people in my shoes. I wish we had something much nicer in common, but it is what it is.’
Officials first announced the ‘no jab, no job’ policy five months ago to protect vulnerable residents and boost uptake of the Covid vaccine.
England’s 1.54million social care workers were prioritised in the roll out, and were among the first to be invited to get their vaccines in December last year.  
Estimates suggest some 500 homes could close from November 11, when being double-vaccinated is made compulsory.
Mike Padgham, chairman of the Independent Care Group, who has worked in the sector for 30 years, said: ‘The deadline for care staff to be double-vaccinated could see up to 500 homes across England having to close their doors because they don’t have enough staff to operate safely.
‘If that happens, it begs the question of where thousands of residents would go, as they can’t go to hospitals and they can’t go to their own homes without care.’
Professor Martin Green, head of Care England, which represents care homes, claimed yesterday that ministers like to test out controversial policies on social care and treat the service ‘like the child they are irritated with’, while the NHS is ‘the favoured child’.
A similar legal requirement for NHS workers to be double-jabbed will only come into force from April, ministers are set to confirm in the coming days.
The above map shows the five areas where more than one in five care home employees are still yet to get two doses of the Covid vaccine
Some 100,000 NHS workers are yet to get at least one dose of the Covid vaccine, figures show. The above graph shows the percentage that have got their first dose (blue line) and the percentage that have got both doses (orange line)
The above map shows the 20 hospital trusts with the lowest proportion of staff fully jabbed in England. The data is up to September 30, the latest available
Former Health Secretary has warned ministers against delaying mandatory jabs for nurses and doctors and urged them to make jabs mandatory for NHS staff before winter
But disgraced former Health Secretary Matt Hancock today called for the policy to be put in place before Christmas. 
Mr Hancock — who quit in June after breaching his own social distancing rules by kissing a married colleague — said the move would act as another ‘tool to save lives’ during what is projected to be a harsh winter for the health service.
He also scorned NHS staff who are still not vaccinated and don’t have a valid medical reason, warning that it was their ‘moral duty’ and that they had ‘ignored all the scientific and clinical advice’. 
Mr Javid appeared to push back the plans until April after being warned by NHS bosses that introducing the policy now could leave hospitals understaffed at a crucial period.
There are also concerns about whether the move is even necessary, given that more than nine in 10 NHS staff are already vaccinated.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Hancock, who was Health Secretary for three years, warned ministers against delaying compulsory vaccinations for the sector into the new year.
He said: ‘Having looked at all the evidence, I am now convinced we must require vaccination for everyone who works not just in social care but the NHS — and get it in place as fast as possible… So as we prepare to a face a difficult winter, let’s use all the tools we have to save lives.
‘Imagine the cancer patient, already battling another deadly disease, being cared for by a nurse. Who can put their hand on their heart and say they’d be happy to tell that patient their nurse could have the vaccine, but has chosen against all scientific and clinical advice to ignore it.’ Mr Hancock said doctors and nurses had a ‘moral duty’ to get the Covid vaccine to protect their patients.
A SAGE adviser said today it was a ‘general standard of hygiene’ for anyone in a frontline role in contact with vulnerable patients to be double-vaccinated against Covid. But they stopped short of calling for jabs to be made compulsory, saying this should only be done as a ‘last resort’. 

About Wirral In It Together

Campaigner for open government. Wants senior public servants to be honest and courageous. It IS possible!
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