In some trusts nearly 12% of NHS staff face the sack over mandatory Covid vaccine push from the government in just 2 week’s time.
All frontline workers who have not yet had their COVID-19 vaccination will be called forward for formal meetings from the 4th of February and warned that they face dismissal.
NHS England released guidance stating that notices will be issued from that day. March 31st has been marked as the end of notice period. This means that all frontline NHS staff will be required to have both doses of the Covid jab by April the 1st, meaning that they must have received their 1st dose by February the 3rd.
NHS managers have been told that they are allowed to redeploy any unvaccinated medics from their frontline positions into roles that don’t involve direct contact with patients.
However, NHS bosses will not have to help staff find suitable employment elsewhere. Any members of staff who are dismissed will not be entitled to redundancy payouts due to their position remaining available after their dismissal.
The document released to NHS staff states: ‘It is important to note this is not a redundancy exercise.
‘In the context of the regulations, there is no diminishment or cessation of work of a particular kind.
‘Employers will not be concerned with finding “suitable alternative employment” and there will be no redundancy entitlements, including payments, whether statutory or contractual, triggered by this process.’
6% of the entire NHS workforce is still unvaccinated. The government’s own estimations suggest that the decision could lead to 73,000 workers leaving the National Health Service.
Many health service worker unions have stated that going forward with ‘no jab, no job’ policy goes ahead in April will have a disastrous impact on the health service. The social care sector faced similar rules back in November.
12 per cent of staff in some trusts have not been vaccinated, according to NHS figures.
This means that come the rule change, many hospitals face the prospect of losing more than 1 in ten workers if they do not take the vaccine over the coming fortnight. 30 NHS trusts with the lowest uptake of the vaccine among staff are all situated throughout London and Birmingham.
NHS organisations have also been warned they should tell regulators if they discover any areas where staffing shortages will result in threat to patient safety.
Any staff who are vaccinated will be asked to provide proof of their status via their Covid pass or evidence of medical exemption.
The same policy was pushed through to the social care sector in November, it is estimated that nearly 60,000 workers were still to be vaccinated at that point.
Social care chiefs gave warnings that the move would cripple the already struggling sector, causing deaths amongst residence in homes with ‘unsafe’ staff levels.
The NHS warned that many beds were filled with patients who were deemed medically fit to leave however, could not be due to the wait on social care support.
There has been calls from The Trades Union Congress (TUC) to delay the policy change immediately to avoid shortages amongst key workers.
It said the NHS ‘cannot afford to lose experienced and skilled staff’.