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MP presses ministers to intervene over looming care staffing crisis

September 7, 2021 1:29 PM

In the House of Commons last night, South Lakes MP Tim Farron urged the Vaccines Minister to publish guidance which will stop care home managers having to make thousands of workers redundant next week.

From November 11th, care home workers who have not received both doses of the covid-19 vaccine will no longer be allowed to work in the sector - giving them just nine days to get their first jab.

Care homes have been a promised an exemption list for staff who can't receive a vaccine for medical or religious reasons, but the Government are still yet to publish it.

It comes as the largest survey of home care providers ever conducted found the sector is facing its worst staffing crisis in history, with thousands of vulnerable people going without care as a result.

Some 78% of providers who responded to the survey commissioned by UK Homecare Association, said recruiting carers is the hardest it has ever been, with many describe themselves as being at "breaking point".

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Tim said: "The effective cut-off for care home staff to get their first jab in order to comply with the Government's deadline is just 10 days away, and those who are not double-jabbed in time will not be able to work in care homes.

"However, there has yet to be any unequivocal guidance on who will be exempt from this, and care home managers in my constituency are desperately concerned, especially in the light of the most unprecedented care home staffing crisis in a generation. They are desperate for that guidance. Will the Minister provide it today?"

In response, the Minister for Vaccine Deployment Nadhim Zahawi said: "The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right: 11 November is the date by which care homes and care home providers will have to comply with the legislation on the vaccination programme.

"I would be happy to share with him the guidance and the communication that we have sent out to the sector, and I will write to him after this statement."