Mandatory Covid vaccine in health and wider social care settings
Following the announcement that all staff in health and wider social care settings will have to be fully vaccinated against Covid from 1 April 2022, employers have expressed concern about how it will affect them and their staff. Croner-i answers your questions regarding the new consultation.
Who will be required to have the vaccine?
Vaccination will be a condition of deployment to all frontline workers who provide face-to-face care for patients and clients. This was defined as:
- those deployed to undertake direct treatment or personal care as part of a Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated activity
- non-clinical workers not directly involved in patient care but who may still have direct, face-to-face contact with patients, such as receptionists, ward clerks, porters or cleaners.
The requirements will apply to CQC-regulated activities in both the public sector (NHS) and independent sector in England.
Agency workers, volunteers, trainees and contractors are all included within the scope of the requirements.
When will the regulations come into force?
The regulations are expected to come into force on 1 April 2022, subject to parliamentary approval.
Affected workers will be given a 12-week grace period to provide evidence of vaccination or exemption. This grace period will begin from the date the Government approves new legislation (likely in January 2022).
What settings does this impact?
The regulations aim to protect vulnerable people and individual workers in health and social care settings, including hospitals, GP practices, and where care is delivered in a person’s home.
Examples of CQC-regulated activities which may be affected include personal care; treatment of disease, disorder or injury; diagnostic and screening procedures; termination of pregnancies; management of supply of blood; mental health assessments and transport services.
The Government outlined that some ancillary staff will be mandated to get the vaccine (eg receptionists, porters, etc) but we await further guidance to understand its full extent and to clearly establish the exact settings and roles which are affected.