Covid-19 vaccination will be required for those entering a care home

Tradespeople, hairdressers and healthcare workers are among those being urged to get double jabbed so they can continue working in care homes.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 12:11 pm
A Covid-19 vaccination will be required for those entering a care home.

New Government regulations, which come into force on November 11, mean that anyone working in a care home must have had two doses of the Covid-19 vaccination, unless they have a medical exemption.

As well as all care home workers, this requirement also includes anyone entering a care home to do any other work.

A first dose of the vaccine must be had by September 16 to give enough time for the second jab to be received before the new laws come into effect.

Those who have not will be unable to enter a care home to work or volunteer.

The new rules will not apply to family and friends, and also exclude under-18s, emergency service, those undertaking urgent maintenance work and people offering bereavement support.

A spokesperson on behalf of Laurel Bank care home in Lancaster said they had already carried out an extensive engagement programme with staff, ahead of the new guidelines.

"The new Government regulations which come into force in November are significant for the care sector as we must protect the most vulnerable sector of society," the spokesperson said.

"We have already taken the decision that staff working in a Barchester care home or hospital must be vaccinated and we have carried out extensive internal communication and engagement programmes with staff, as well as 1-1 support to encourage this.

"As a result we have seen strong uptake and positive engagement with the Covid-19 vaccination and we are pleased that only 0.1 per cent of staff left due to unwillingness to have the vaccine.

"Now 95 per cent of our staff are vaccinated and of the remainder, some are medically exempt and the rest are new joiners who will have the vaccine within the first 12 weeks of employment with Barchester.

"Those staff with valid medical exemptions will operate with enhanced PPE. We will follow government guidelines on additional staff from hairdressers to tradespeople, although the majority are vaccinated.”

Coun Caroline Jackson, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “It is vitally important that we continue to do all we can to protect care home residents from risk of death or serious illness from contracting Covid-19 and these new Government rules will help to keep them safe.

"The rate of Covid infection from the new variant is high in Lancashire, as it is all over England, and we need to take every precaution we can to avoid spreading the infection.

“I would urge anyone who needs to enter a care home as part of their work to get their first vaccine by next Thursday (September 16) to ensure they meet the November 11 deadline to help protect residents and avoid their work being impacted by delaying the jab.”

Ian Crabtree, Lancashire County Council's director of adults disability and care services, said: "Lancashire County Council has been working closely with care providers to encourage staff to take up the Covid-19 vaccination offer by November 11, when everyone working in care homes in England will need to be fully vaccinated.

"The county council has also worked closely alongside NHS colleagues in offering advice and support to providers and their staff to help ease any fears and concerns some staff may have about the vaccine.

"In order to meet the November 11 vaccination deadline, staff must have had their first dose by September 16. If staff are not fully vaccinated by November 11, all care providers, including the county council will review each case on an individual basis.

"While medical some exemptions will be allowed, the criteria is limited so we do not anticipate there will be many staff fall into an exemption category

"The law change will also affect regular visiting staff such as tradespeople and hairdressers, although exceptions may be made in an emergency situation.

"Any staff who have not yet had their first dose still have time over the next couple of days and I would strongly encourage them to attend one of Lancashire's many walk-in vaccination clinics.

"Visit www.healthierlsc.co.uk/getmyjab for more information."