Mandatory Vaccinations in Care Homes - Intelligence Briefing September 2021

In partnership with Healthwatch York, we asked care homes what they think the impact of the mandatory vaccinations will be, ahead of the November 11th deadline.
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With the deadline approaching for care staff to receive their first dose in time for the deadline of November 11th for them to be fully vaccinated and therefore able to continue working in care settings (unless exempt).

Healthwatch North Yorkshire and Healthwatch York asked care homes what they feel the impact will be.

Summary:

We heard from 16 homes across North Yorkshire and York, receiving answers from every district in the region. We found an ambivalence amongst the homes that responded to us. Whilst there was strong support for vaccinations in general, there was uncertainty over the impact of the new legislation, a concern that it will be detrimental to recruitment and further reduce morale. The mandatory vaccination policy poses a potential further challenge to an already struggling sector.

The impact of this legislation could be huge and widely felt, restricting agreed contractors, maintenance and servicing personnel along with the effect on the hospitality side of care homes i.e. recruiting new domestic, laundry, kitchen and office staff.
— The Coach House Nursing Home in Ripon, Harrogate

Key findings:

Strong support for COVID-19 vaccinations; the uncertainty of the impact of the new legislation; expectation people will leave the workforce and stop others entering; seen as unfair application and reducing the morale of staff.

In a joint statement, Ashley Green, Chief Executive of Healthwatch North Yorkshire, and Siân Balsom, Healthwatch York Manager said: “There is an irony that while almost all the care homes we spoke to recognised the importance of the vaccinations to protect vulnerable people, the new rules might put residents at risk due to staff shortages and low morale."

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