From 11 November 2021, care home staff working in a Care Quality Commission registered care home would be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Catch up our previous article for more information on who this includes.
On 9 September 2021, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) published a consultation on whether this compulsory vaccination requirement should extend to other health and care settings, and whether it should also include mandatory flu vaccinations.
What Was The Result?
The DHSC has now published its response to the consultation and confirmed that individuals carrying out CQC-regulated activities in the health and social care sector whose roles involve direct face-to-face contact with patients and service users must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This will include front-line workers such as receptionists, ward clerks, porters and cleaners, and will apply whether the regulated activity is delivered through agency workers, volunteers, trainees or contracted parties.
For individuals who are exempt, they must show evidence of their medical exemption before they can deliver care. Employers should be reminded that only those with a medical exemption will be able to perform regulated activities without being fully vaccinated. Until 24 December 2021, such individuals may use the self-certification procedure, but after this date, they must apply for proof of their exemption.
The mandatory vaccination requirement will be implemented via amendment to the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/2936) and will come into force on 1 April 2022. There will be a 12-week grace period to allow time for the employers and workers to meet the new requirements.
The DHSC has decided not to include flu vaccination as part of the mandatory requirements.