MANDATORY VACCINES: Government expected to announce mandatory vaccines for NHS staff
The Government is set to announce mandatory vaccines for frontline NHS workers.
It is understood that ministers intend to announce shortly that compulsory vaccines will be introduced from April for NHS workers in England.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said last week he was “leaning towards” making the jabs compulsory for staff in England, with around 100,000 NHS workers not fully vaccinated.
He has appeared to heed warnings from health leaders to postpone the move until spring as the NHS faces a difficult winter, according to reports.
The Guardian reported that the Department of Health and Social Care could announce the move as soon as Thursday.
The move comes after NHS Providers warned that any additional staffing shortages over winter would cause pressure on the already stretched health system.
On Monday Chris Hopson, chief executive of the organisation that represents NHS trusts, said that a third of leaders across hospital, mental health, community and ambulance trusts do no favour compulsory jabs for staff.
“If we lose very large numbers of unvaccinated staff, particularly over the winter period, then that also constitutes a risk to patient safety and quality of care,” he told BBC Breakfast.
Mr Hopson urged ministers to give the NHS a long run-up to cover the busy winter period and also enable managers to have conversations with unvaccinated staff.
Plans for mandatory jabs for staff in care homes in England were announced in June, with November 11 the deadline for workers to have received both doses of vaccine.
The Government launched a consultation in September seeking views on plans for staff in health and care settings in England to be required to have Covid-19 and flu vaccines to protect vulnerable people.
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