Care home staff urged to get their vaccine ahead of planned changes
Staff who work in Liverpool’s care homes – who have not yet been vaccinated against Covid-19 – are being urged to get their jabs as soon as possible.
It follows an announcement that vaccinations are to become compulsory for staff at English care homes, for those who provide nursing or personal work for elderly or vulnerable residents.
The new proposals include staff employed either full-time or part-time, via an agency or on a voluntary basis, unless they are medically exempt. Any changes would be subject to parliamentary approval and a 16-week grace period, allowing staff who have not yet been vaccinated the opportunity to access their jabs.
Planned for October 2021, changes would also cover tradespeople, hairdressers and health care professionals who work onsite; however the new rules would not apply to visitors or staff and volunteers under 18.
Cllr Frazer Lake, Cabinet Member for Adults and Children’s Health and Social Care said “Every effort has been made to make the vaccination accessible to people living and working in care homes – vaccination teams have visited staff onsite to offer vaccinations directly, and we also opened the National Booking Service to those not on site when vaccinators visited.
We have delivered an extensive communications programme to boost vaccine confidence, tackle misinformation and encourage take-up. We have now committed £250,000 of new funding towards a team who can work with staff who are particularly hesitant, as there remains over 700 staff and agency workers in our care homes that are not recorded as having the first dose of the vaccine.”
Steve Peddie, Assistant Director, Adult Services and Health Directorate said “We have now written to all care homes in Liverpool asking them again to work with us on a voluntary basis to achieve full vaccination.
First doses for care home staff in Liverpool is currently at 83.4%, so things are starting to move in the right direction, but there is still lots to do. If you are someone who works in a care home in any capacity and you haven’t had your jabs yet, please do so as soon as possible. It protects you from getting seriously ill and also reduces your risk of spreading the virus to someone else.
All care homes in the city without 100% vaccinated staff are also being asked to confirm their business continuity plans following the 16-week grace period, when they are unable to employ unvaccinated staff in front line roles.”
The government also intends to consult further on whether to extend mandatory vaccination against Covid-19 and flu to others working in health and social care settings.