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18th June 2021

Compulsory vaccines for care home workers response

The Department for Health & Social Care has announced its intention to bring in legislation which means anyone working in a CQC-registered care home in England must have two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine unless they have a medical exemption.

In response Joanne Roney, President of Solace, said: “We understand, and support, the reasons for wanting to protect our most vulnerable care home residents.

“But at a time when we are moving towards even greater integration between social care and NHS services, compelling one part of the workforce to get vaccinated and not the other is incredibly unhelpful – once again, social care is being treated differently to the NHS when there should be parity of esteem despite the admirable performance from carers throughout the extremely difficult circumstances created by the pandemic.

“The reasons behind variable vaccine take up rates among the care and health workforce is myriad and complex, and is liable to have equality impacts and risks creating other unintended consequences in relation to recruitment and workforce retention.

“It would have been far better to work with local government to help overcome the barriers to vaccine take up among care home staff instead of reaching for a legislative approach.”