Care homes in the UK must make sure that all staff members are fully vaccinated by the 11th of November 2021, as per government regulations. This means that the past few days represented the last chance for care home workers to get their first vaccine. Those who do not risk losing their job, or having to take time off until they are fully vaccinated. Because of this, there is a very real risk of care homes needing to shut down due to staff shortages which could leave more elderly people to seek care in their own homes.
Unions and providers are warning of a staff exodus in England
The requirement implemented by the government means that time is running out, and a lot of providers and unions are warning that this will have a hugely detrimental impact on care homes across the country. The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has stated that he believes the vaccine policy is incredibly unfair and that around 2,000 of the care home workers in the region now face losing their employment overnight unless they got their first jab this week. Burnham believes that the government is singling out carers, although Sajid Javid, the health and social care secretary, has stated that it is very likely this policy is going to be extended to frontline NHS workers.
Care England Speaks Out
Care England represents independent care service providers in the country. The chief executive, Professor Martin Green, has spoken out about the vaccine requirement. He feels it is going to deepen the staffing crisis in the industry, forcing some homes to close. He stated while speaking to BBC radio 4 that while the care providers across the UK accept that there is a desire to vaccinate as many people as possible, he does feel that the UK government have moved on the compulsion for social care vaccination without truly understanding its implications. He also revealed that he thought the government hadn’t fully considered the impact of staff shortages and that care home were now in an increasingly difficult position, especially when it comes to the conundrum of balancing quality and care and safety with fewer staff.
Elderly people will look to at-home care services to help them through this period
The prospect of care homes needing to shut down is likely to see more people look to home care services in order to get the care and assistance they need. However, as the Live-In Care Hub has displayed with their No Place Like Home report, 97 per cent of people do not want to go into a care home anyway if they become less able to cope or unwell. With live-in care, you can dictate all terms of the care agreement, including whether or not you want a care worker who has received the vaccination. You can also determine the tasks you need assistance with too.