NHS managers told to 'redouble efforts' to ensure all staff have jabs
NHS managers are told to have one-on-one conversations with staff who refuse the Covid vaccine
- NHS England’s chief people officer Prerana Issar called on bosses to talk to staff
- She says work with BAME staff to encourage vaccine uptake has ‘had results’
- As many as 200,000 NHS and care employees have refused the offer of a jab
NHS England has called for managers to have one-to-one conversations with staff who refuse the Covid-19 vaccine.
An email seen by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) called on NHS trusts to ‘redouble our efforts in keeping each and every one of our staff safe’. As many as 200,000 NHS and care employees have refused the offer of a jab.
All frontline NHS staff have now been offered a coronavirus vaccine, with ministers opening up the rollout to non-paid carers this week as well.
It comes after the Mail revealed jabs could be made mandatory for NHS staff under plans being discussed by ministers.
A review of vaccine passports is set to consider whether health staff who decline an injection could be legally obliged to have one. It is also expected to look at whether compulsion should apply to care home staff, most of whom are not employed by the state.
NHS England’s chief people officer Prerana Issar has called for managers to sit down with every member of their health staff who has declined a vaccine so far.
She said work to encourage uptake among black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff has ‘had results’ but managers should sit down with those who have rejected a jab to explain the health benefits.
As many as 200,000 NHS and care employees have refused the offer of a jab. Pictured: A vaccine is given at Darlington Arena Vaccination Centre on Monday
The email said: ‘As a result of your continued hard work we have seen an uptick in staff vaccination numbers, with nine out of (10) eligible staff now vaccinated.
‘The feedback we’ve received is that your work with BAME networks, chaplains and clinical leaders has had results.
‘There are, however, a number of staff who have declined the first dose of the vaccine.
‘As the evidence grows around the effectiveness of the vaccine and its ability to reduce transmission, we must now redouble our efforts in keeping each and every one of our staff safe…
‘So we are asking that every staff member who declined the vaccine should now have a one-to-one conversation with their line manager to explain the powerful protective effects of the vaccine.
‘It is the perfect opportunity to address concerns and better understand hesitancy. Local occupational health teams should support these conversations.’
Ms Issar said the conversations needed to happen ‘at pace’ and by March 12.
She added: ‘We continue to support shared decision-making but there is clear evidence that the vaccine is the best way to quickly protect colleagues and the patients in our care.’
A spokeswoman for NHS England, said: ‘More than nine in 10 frontline NHS staff have now had the first Covid vaccine, which is an amazing and still growing uptake.
‘A vast amount of work is happening with BAME networks, chaplains, faith and community leaders to encourage as many people as possible take up the offer of a vaccine.’
Meanwhile, data released on Thursday showed that hundreds of thousands of social care staff in England have not yet received a coronavirus vaccine.
Some 59.2 per cent of staff in care homes for adults aged under 65 and working for providers of home care registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have received their first dose.
For social care staff working in other settings in England, including non-registered providers, the figure is 57.5 per cent.
Health officials have launched a drive to encourage those in the care sector to get the jab amid ongoing concerns about low take-up.
Data published yesterday by NHS England shows that just 73 per cent of staff in care homes for older adults have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The figure falls to 59 per cent among staff in care homes for under-65s and for home care providers, NHS England said. This is despite social care being in the top priority group for the rollout.
Uptake is much higher among doctors and nurses, with 93 per cent of frontline staff now immunised.
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