Male nurse showing a digital tablet to an elderly woman in a care home.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that from 11th November 2021 anyone entering a care home to work will need to prove they are fully vaccinated unless they are exempt as per regulations set out in the Health and Social Care Act.

The legislation includes all workers who are over 18, whether they are full-time or part-time, volunteers, agency staff, and those attending a job interview.

It also applies to those attending care homes to do other work, such as healthcare workers, tradespeople, maintenance, hairdressers, Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors.

A consultation is expected within the next few weeks about whether the requirement to be fully vaccinated should be extended to working in other NHS and care settings, and whether this should be for both COVID and flu vaccinations.

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The legal requirement applies to care homes in England who are registered with the CQC where residents require nursing or personal care. It only applies to care homes, and there is no legal requirement for other sectors to be fully vaccinated.

If care homes have not already started doing so, the DHSC advise that they must commence consultation with staff on their vaccination status to meet the deadline in time.

Those who have been vaccinated can prove this via the NHS App, on the NHS website or with a Covid Pass letter, which can be sent in the post after it has been applied for online.

Those who cannot be vaccinated due to clinical reasons can seek a clinically approved medical exemption from this requirement.   Guidance for certification is being developed but has not been published yet.

Care homes are being advised to keep a record of the vaccination/exemption status of all staff. If medically exempt, there is no requirement to record the clinical reason. It is likely that these records will need to be shared with CQC.

Sarah Lepak, Head of Policy & Compliance for the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) offered this advice: “If anyone is unable to provide proof of vaccination or exemption, then you should explore all other options for them to continue working without going into care homes.

“This could include moving them to an alternative role or to a mix of work for which vaccination is not required.  According to the government’s operational guidance for care homes, if no alternative is feasible the regulations may provide a fair reason for dismissal, but please bear in mind that the guidance was written with care home staff in mind.

“The guidance further states that if work is only being done outside the care home and individuals carrying out maintenance do not need to enter the care home, then these individuals do not need to show proof of vaccination or medical exemption.

“The care home may make an exception to the requirement if urgent maintenance work is required in the event of a risk to life or continuity of care, such as vital equipment failures.”

The BHTA has stated that it will update its members when it sees anything more about proof of vaccination outside the UK, certification of medical exemption, and the wider consultation for NHS and care settings.

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https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/TEC1.jpg?fit=900%2C600&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/TEC1.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Liane McIvorGovernment & Local AuthoritiesNewsroomNHSSector NewsUncategorisedcare home,covid,CQC,Department of Health and Social Care,NHS,social care,vaccinationThe Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that from 11th November 2021 anyone entering a care home to work will need to prove they are fully vaccinated unless they are exempt as per regulations set out in the Health and Social Care Act. The legislation includes all...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals