The National Care Forum (NCF) is the leading association for not-for-profit care and support providers. Responding to the government’s welcome announcements that it believes the imposition of mandatory vaccines is no longer proportionate, Vic Rayner OBE, CEO said:
“NCF and our membership have been 100% behind the drive for vaccination and booster take up throughout the pandemic. However, we have consistently challenged the argument to force people to be vaccinated, finding the best results came from persuasion and encouragement, with good information and support to address people’s concerns respectfully and to encourage vaccine take up.”
In July last year, the government laid regulations for the mandatory vaccination requirements for all who worked in, and crossed the thresholds of care homes. Those laws were passed almost on the same day that the country experienced so called ‘freedom day’. Yet despite the pronouncements the virus was on the wane, the government felt that mandation was a proportionate response and brought in the requirement for all care home staff to be vaccinated, against advice.
“The government has consistently chosen to ignore the advice of those who work in the care sector, and has steam rolled through a chaotic policy with long term detrimental impacts on those who work in care homes and receive care and support. Care homes have been the unwitting guinea pigs through the implementation of this policy, and the impact on people must not be swept under the carpet.”
“In October last year, strong words were spoken by the Health and Social Care Secretary telling social care workers “… if you cannot be bothered to go and get vaccinated then get out and go and get another job.” The lack of regard and respect for care workers was felt strongly, and these were words that contributed to over 30,000 care workers leaving the sector and contributing to the worst staffing crisis we have seen on record in social care.
“The government must apologise to the social care staff who have lost their jobs and to the people receiving care and support who have had to watch relationships they cherish being severed abruptly as a direct result of this policy, and to the social care providers who have invested significant time, energy and resources into implementing a chaotic policy that is now considered obsolete.
“The decision to consult further on the introduction of this mandate across the wider health and care sector is welcome, but it is vital that the government learns from this experience and make policy decisions that are well thought-through and takes seriously the long term impact it has on people’s lives. This latest announcement feels like one based purely on expediency with regards to the predictable effect on levels of staffing in health services, without taking any account of the significant impact and the disastrous damage that has already occurred.”
Note to Editors:
- The National Care Forum brings together 160 of the UK’s leading social care organisations, representing large numbers of care providers, offering thousands of services across the country, which are not for profit and always at the heart of community provision. Collectively, these organisations deliver more than £2.2 billion of social care and support to more than 217,000 people in 8,300 settings. The NCF membership body collectively employs more than 117,000 staff and 14,000 volunteers.
- More information is available on the National Care Forum at www.nationalcareforum.org.uk. @NCFCareForum @vicrayner @NCF_Liz
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