A care home owner is calling on the government to make the Covid vaccine only compulsory for new employees, after staff told him they are leaving.
The government has revealed that from 11 November, all care home staff will have to be vaccinated or they will lose their jobs. 16 September will be the last date for care workers to get their first vaccine so they are fully vaccinated before regulations come into force.
Mike Vaughan, managing director of Red Rocks Nursing Home in Wirral, who already has 95 per cent of his staff vaccinated has called the government’s policy a “sledgehammer approach”.
He said: “Care homes were generally treated abysmally last year and suffered 12 months or more of extreme stress. The current plans simply serve as yet another blow to us, given how difficult it is to find any registered nursing staff or well-trained carers in the current 'Covid burn-out' health sector employment market.”
He says his preference would be for “every customer facing member of staff providing direct and close contact care for our residents to be Covid and Influenza vaccinated” and has already made the Covid vaccine a requirement for new employees.
However he says: “The five staff I have at present who have thus far refused to take up the Covid vaccination have varying reasons for their actions.
“Namely, it’s unsafe, I should have the choice, I don’t want to take the risk, or sadly, in at least one particular case, believing all the spurious allegations and hype that circulates around the vaccines, such as tracking devices and some of the perceived, dangerous or unproven chemical contents of the vaccine.”
He reveals that “sadly and with much regret, I have already received one expressed intention of resignation from a night carer who has worked for me for 14 years.”
Mr Vaughan is worried that losing nursing staff due to the mandatory vaccine policy as well as night care workers “will be hugely detrimental to my business and could potentially affect our ability to continue to operate as a nursing home”.
He would like to see amendments made to the policy, such as exceptions made for existing staff if the care home has already introduced the requirement for new starters and if they have a vaccine take up rate in excess of 80 per cent. He also wants to see exceptions for non-customer facing staff.
“My proposals for a sensible work around seem balanced, sensible and safe, and would give care homes and their staff a sensible and much needed breather, rather than another bashing,” he said.