Coronavirus in Portsmouth: 12 care home workers quit after being told to get Covid jab

MORE than 10 care home workers in Portsmouth have quit their jobs over compulsory Covid-19 vaccines.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 4:55 am
A dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is prepared by a member of the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service at Basingstoke fire station, which has been set up as a vaccination centre and where crews are still answering 999 calls on February 4, 2021 in Basingstoke, England. (Photo by Andrew Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Figures supplied by the council show that of the 1,074 staff members in non-council care homes, 56 are not vaccinated.

Of this 56, 12 staff members have decided to leave and 26 are in discussions with human resources, or with their GP, over exemptions.

The news comes as care home staff become legally required to have had their first jab, with a double-jab requirement coming into force on November 11.

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In council-owned care homes, five staff members remain unvaccinated - roughly 1.6 per cent of the work force.

Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, admitted care homes will struggle with the drop in staff levels, but insisted that the government has made the right call.

He said: ‘Vaccinations are the way to protect vulnerable people in the community. At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic we lost far too many people in care homes - so I think the government has got this spot on.

‘If you’re refusing to get the vaccine, and that’s not due to a medical exemption, you cannot work in a care home and put vulnerable people at risk.

‘We are continuing to try and recruit into the social care sector but it’s proving tremendously difficult. We have care agencies handing their contracts back to us due to a staff shortage as it is, so workers leaving is only going to make things worse.’

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From November 11, everyone visiting care homes in a professional capacity will be required to show proof that they are fully vaccinated against coronavirus.

Without this, they will not be allowed inside.

Earlier this week, the Local Democracy Reporting Service reported how unions were concerned about this sort of thing happening.

Callum Williamson from Hampshire Unison warned that up to 70,000 people across the country could leave their jobs over compulsory Covid-19 vaccinations. He said: ‘This would be a disaster for vulnerable Hampshire residents who rely on these services.

‘The government must scrap the “no jab, no job” rule now.’

Widespread care home closures could be the consequence if they ignore the warnings.