Jump to content

NHSE tells trusts not to dismiss unvaccinated staff, after government U-turn

Trust were tonight told to cease plans for dismissing unvaccinated staff, as the government announced it would consult on dropping its mandatory covid vaccine policy.

An email to local NHS leaders said: “Today the Secretary of State has announced that [the vaccination as a condition of deployment policy] is being reconsidered. The government’s decision is subject to Parliamentary process and will require further consultation and a vote to be passed into legislation.

“We are aware that, based on the guidance already issued to the service, you will have begun to prepare for formal meetings with staff on their deployment if they remain unvaccinated. This change in government policy means we request that employers do not serve notice of termination to employees affected by the [vaccination as a condition of deployment] regulations.”

Previous guidance had required that, after 3 February – the deadline to have a first vaccination in order to have two vaccines by the 1 April legal cut-off – trusts begin formal meetings and issue dismissal warnings to unvaccinated patient-facing staff. 

Huge efforts have been put into encouraging staff to be vaccinated and to preparing for the next steps in recent weeks. However, tens of thousands across England are still believed to have had no vaccine, or to have an “unknown” vaccine status.

The brief NHSE letter gave no further guidance on whether trusts should continue to press staff to be vaccinated by that date, or continue to have discussions about redeployment.

Sajid Javid, who introduced the legal requirements last year, told the Commons: “I am announcing that we will launch a consultation on ending [VCOD] in health and all social care settings.

“Subject to the responses – and the will of this House – the Government will revoke the regulations. I have always been clear that our rules must remain proportionate and balanced – and of course, should we see another dramatic change in the virus, it would be responsible to review this policy again.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 1 February 2022


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...