Thousands of care home staff face job loss today as mandatory jab deadline passes
Official NHS figures are expected to show that more than 50,000 current care staff are yet to be fully vaccinated.
The care sector faces losing thousands of members of staff today as the deadline for mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations passes.
Thursday (November 11) marks the deadline by which care home staff must have been double jabbed unless they are medically exempt.
But this afternoon, the NHS is expected to revealed that as of November 7, more than 50,000 current care home staff have not been recorded as having had both doses of a jab.
According to Sky News, more than half of these are thought to have one dose, whilst several thousand more are understood to have self-certified as medically exempt or to have applied for formal proof.
Care homes face two options on what to do with staff that are now not fully vaccinated against Covid. They can either deploy them to non-frontline roles if available or place them on paid or unpaid leave until they receive both doses.
It was announced on Tuesday that NHS staff and those working in social care would face a similar deadline next April.
Care groups are criticising the mandatory vaccine policy, saying that it is just exacerbating staff shortages in the industry in the lead up to winter.
A survey from the National Care Forum (NCF) said that its members will lose about 8% of staff, and that the industry can not afford such a serious loss of staff given the "enormous" pressures the sector faces.
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Meanwhile the National Care Association has called for the Thursday deadline to be extended to April, bringing it in line with that of NHS staff.
Executive chairwoman Nadra Ahmed said: "The NHS will struggle to discharge out of the acute sector into safe environments where people can be supported at a critical time in their lives.
"There is still time to bring the deadline in line with the NHS and support the sector to have a fighting chance to get through the winter months.
"It may avoid the closure of essential beds when we most need them as a nation."