Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

The quality of social care in England will suffer and some homes may have to close, as an estimated 32,000 workers in the sector will miss Thursday’s deadline to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, industry leaders have warned.

Mike Padgham, chairman of the Independent Care Group, which represents care home operators, said: “If care homes do not have enough staff, in the worst case the facility will have to reduce the number of residents and if it did not. can provide proper care, will have to close completely.

“This is the reality that houses face up and down the country.”

The government announced in June that, after a six-month consultation, all care home workers in England should be fully vaccinated by 11 November to retain their jobs. After a second consultation, Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced Tuesday that Covid-19 steps will also be mandatory from April 2022 for NHS staff in the front lines in England.

Javid said on Tuesday that about 32,000 workers in the care sector would not be picked by the deadline. The sector is already facing a shortage of 105,000 workers, according to the Department of Health and Social Care. It currently has a paid workforce of 1.5 million people.

Adam Purnell, director of social care at the Institute of Health and Social Care Management, urged the government to move the care care deadline to April to adapt to the NHS, arguing that the social care sector as a ” guinea pig “was treated.

The “inevitable” loss of thousands of workers will cause some suppliers to work at “unsafe staff levels”, he said, increasing the risk of accidents.

Nursing homes with short staff will also not be able to admit as many patients from hospitals, which increases the pressure on the NHS, Purnell warned.

“If nursing homes struggle with staff numbers, the most vulnerable people in our community will not be able to leave the hospital because there will be nowhere for them to go,” he added.

Despite the concerns, Javid defended the policy on Wednesday.

He told the BBC that although the policy would be “challenging” for the sector, the government has a “duty” to protect the community’s most vulnerable.

Steve Scown, CEO of Dimensions, the UK’s largest non-profit provider of working-age adults with learning disabilities and autism, claimed Javid “personally endangered the well-being of many thousands of disabled people” by enforcing obligations . vaccination.

“Very good colleagues” have already left, Scown said. “We will be forced to fire more on Friday when the first set of new regulations takes effect, and now expect even more layoffs in April,” he said.

The exodus of staff caused by the “no jab, no work” policy comes amid a tight labor market, with competition for employees from restaurants, supermarkets and other industries. Lucy Craig, managing director at Craig Healthcare, an organization that owns and manages three residential and dementia care homes in the Northeast, told the FT that three staff members left as a result of the rule.

One took a job at a branch of the Subway’s sandwich chain, she added.

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