Mansfield and Ashfield care bosses react to compulsory Covid vaccine plan for workers
Mansfield and Ashfield care bosses have reacted to Government proposals to make it compulsory for care home workers to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed Ministers are to go ahead with the plans after a consultation was carried out into using staff vaccination in England to protect the most vulnerable from the virus.
If staff refuse they could be removed from the front line or risk losing their job.
But Anita Astle managing director of Wren Hall care home at Selston, ‘vehemently defends personal choice’ and has ‘concerns’ over the potential impact on staffing.
She said: “I fully support the vaccination programme and recognise its importance in the fight against Covid-19. However, personally I am sad that the Government has decided to mandate vaccination in care home staff as I feel this is an infringement on individual rights.
“Whilst I recognise that all care staff have a duty of care and must consider the bigger picture, I vehemently defend personal choice. I am concerned about the impact this decision will have on recruitment and retention of staff and the legal challenge that we will face if we terminate employment due to non-vaccination.
“I was aggrieved that care homes were being singled out with the mandating of vaccination despite the NHS supporting people who are equally or more susceptible to Covid-19.
"I understand there is to be consultation about mandating the vaccination in the NHS, so hopefully we will see parity across the health and social care system.”
However, care bosses at Mansfield Woodhouse-based Your Home Care say they welcome the Government announcement.
A spokesman said: “From day one, Your Home Care has encouraged all our employees to be vaccinated, ensuring their safety and the safety of our clients. If the Government says it has to be done by law, we support that.”
Unison’s general secretary, Christina McAnea, said mandating vaccines was the ‘wrong approach’ and warned it could drive staff away from the industry.
"Turning the clock back to Victorian times by forcing care workers to be jabbed isn’t the way,” she said.
The Department for Health and Social Care has been contacted for a comment.