Unions warn that care home workers could be fired in a matter of days if they are not fully vaccinated against Covid.
Figures suggest some 60,000 employees — a tenth of the workforce — are still yet to turn up for two jabs in England, and half of these have not even had their first dose.
The greatest crisis is facing homes in Manchester, Nottingham and Westminster. Around one fifth of employees are still double-jabbed.
Today’s unions warned that a mass exodus in staff could spell doom for many sectors and render many homes unable ‘to operate’.
Some South West care homes have stopped taking patients from the hospitals, leaving wards full of patients that can be discharged.
For seniors care home workers to continue working in this sector, they must have had both their Covid jabs before November 11.
Matt Hancock, the former Health Secretary, announced the measures in June. He said they would boost uptake and help vulnerable residents.
However, care home sources claimed that the deadline should be delayed. They also claimed that making them mandatory has only had a ‘little’ impact on uptake.
Ministers are considering whether two Covid jabs should also become compulsory for NHS workers. But, health chiefs have urged that this measure not be implemented until April due to the’very very’ difficult winter ahead.
The graph below shows the percentage of staff in care homes for over-65s that have received their first or second doses. It is clear that there was no sudden surge in vaccinations when mandatory jabs were introduced.
More than 100,000 unfilled jobs are currently in care homes.
NHS England statistics indicate that 10 percent of the 600,000. workers in the sector have not been fully vaccinated.
According to No10’s estimates, between 40,000-70,000 unvaccinated workers are expected to lose their jobs next Monday.
Employees who have received only one dose of the vaccine are not allowed to work in this sector.
NHS England data suggests that approximately half of those who did not get two doses have already had their first jab. Between shots, there’s a minimum of eight weeks.
Christina McAnea, general secretary of UNISON, told the Mirror that care homes are at risk of losing so many staff that they won’t be able to continue operating.
“The sector is in crisis. This could be the last straw for many. Residents will need to find new housing. [homes]Anxiety can be caused by these things.
“It’s not too early for the Government delay the jabs rules.
MailOnline was told by Gavin Edwards (union care spokesman) that although some employees were persuaded by the threat of being fired, many others have left.
‘If the government had spent the past four month persuading care workers in low-take-up areas, there would be an even higher number of staff who are now vaccinated.
“Instead, the policy has caused alarm and worsened our staffing crisis.” The loss of workers will cause a decline in care quality and leave many people who are dependent on it without a place to turn.
Rachel Harrison, GMB’s national officer, also warned that a mass exodus could “turn a crisis into an unstoppable catastrophe.”
Today, health chiefs launched a recruitment drive to encourage people to accept jobs in social services instead of leaving the sector.
In June, the Department of Health announced its intention to make compulsory Covid vaccines for care home workers. Parliament voted it into law in July.
Stakeholders and MPs criticised ministers for not publishing an impact assessment that would have considered the negative consequences.
The double-jab rule will take effect next week. However, unvaccinated workers could still work in the sector up to Christmas.
Ministers have set December 23rd as the deadline to apply for and review exemptions from vaccination. This could spark a mass exodus.
If someone has a severe allergy or an adverse reaction to the first dose of the vaccine, they may be exempted from the vaccine in very rare instances.
MailOnline received this information yesterday from care sources who said that compulsory vaccination with Covid vaccines had ‘little impact’ on sector uptake.
MailOnline spoke to a representative of homes in England who declined to be identified. He said: “You ask whether making jabs mandatory boosted uptake. It hasn’t.
“We initially set out to achieve about 80 percent uptake. However, the numbers show that the number of people getting vaccinated has risen since the requirement was made.
“But we found that calm persuasion was more important than making vaccination mandatory.
Figures show that around 100,000 NHS workers have yet to receive at least one dose. The graph below shows the percentage of NHS workers who have received their first dose (blue) and those who have received both (orange).
Mike Padgham is the chair of Independent Care Group. He represents homes in Yorkshire.
“I have been to Government meetings and they told me they expect to lose as many as 40,000 workers from this sector by the middle of the month. That’s a huge hole.
“When something becomes compulsory, it can make people even more scared.”
Sajid Javid, Health Secretary, has warned that he is ‘leaning toward’ making vaccines compulsory for NHS workers.
This consultation has been completed. It also considered whether the flu jab should become a requirement.
It is unclear when results will be published or whether a decision has been made.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents many trusts has demanded that no policy be imposed before April.
However, he did not rule out the possibility of the policy. This makes it more likely that jabs will become mandatory in the NHS.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said that vaccines save lives. Although residents and staff at care homes have been given priority, and most are now vaccinated with vaccines, it is still our responsibility to protect vulnerable people.
“Over 90% of care home staff have had their first dose of the Covid vaccine. We are working closely with local authorities to ensure that there is always enough staff to provide high-quality care.