NHS staff in East Lancashire told they must be fully vaccinated
All NHS frontline staff in East Lancashire must be fully vaccinated against Covid to protect patients, the Health Secretary has announced today.
Sajid Javid told the House of Commons that a deadline of April 1st next year will be set to give unvaccinated staff time to get both doses.
The Burnley Express reported last month that NHS England figures showed that of the 11,634 health care workers at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, 10,566 (90.8%) had been given their first dose of the vaccine by the end of September.
This was on a par with the average for NHS trusts across England, and meant that 1,068 workers were still unvaccinated.
Some 10,101 members of staff in East Lancashire had received their second dose, which equates to 86.8% of staff.
East Lancashire health bosses said today that they did not have any more up to date figures at this stage on the number of its staff still unvaccinated.
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “Where uptake needs to increase, leaders are working with their teams ensuring they are fully supported.
"Making Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for frontline workers could have its advantages in the NHS but the Government needs to carry out a full risk assessment including timeframes to ensure there was no adverse impact on staff retention and recruitment at a time when the NHS is facing significant demand for its services.”
There will be exemptions for the Covid vaccine requirement for medical reasons, and for those who do not have face-to-face contact with patients in their work, Mr Javid confirmed.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers which represents England's NHS trusts, said: "We understand why people are vaccine-hesitant. We need to win the argument with them rather than beat them around the head."
Labour, meanwhile, have said the government must proceed with caution, highlighting the current understaffing problems being experienced in the NHS and the worry compulsory vaccination could exacerbate this.