CARE homes in Kidderminster are welcoming the proposed government announcement for it to become mandatory for all workers to have a Covid vaccination. 

It has been reported that under the plans, staff working with adults will be given 16 weeks to get vaccinated or face losing their jobs.

This comes after concerns that some parts of the country have particularly low uptake of vaccines for care home staff.

However in Worcestershire 86.3% of eligible staff have been vaccinated with at least one dose. 

Barchester who own Hollyfields Care Home on Habberley Road and Care UK who own Brook Court on Oldnall Road have already enforced compulsory vaccinations for their workers.

A spokesperson for Barchester said: “We have already taken the decision that staff working in a Barchester care home or hospital must be vaccinated and we have carried out extensive engagement programmes with staff, as well as 1-1 support to encourage this. 

“As a result we are seeing strong uptake and positive engagement with COVID-19 vaccination. We are delighted that that 99% of staff are willing to have the vaccine. Those staff with acceptable exemptions, and exempted staff will operate with enhanced PPE.

“We did not introduce our vaccine policy lightly, but took the view that providing safe care for those we look after is our paramount obligation. 

A spokesperson for Care UK said: "Since April, we have required all new recruits to have the Covid-19 vaccine before starting work in our care homes.

 "We strongly believe vaccinations are essential in protecting the health and safety of those living and working in our homes and have been actively supporting colleagues with impartial, accurate advice on the benefits of the vaccines for themselves, their families and the residents they care for. 

"92% of those working in our homes have already had a vaccination." 

Sophie Campbell, manager at Offmore Farm Residential home on Offmore Farm Close, also welcomes the proposed announcement. She said “It will protect the residents as well as the staff.

 “All the  staff have received their first dose of a Covid vaccine with the majority fully vaccinated. Hopefully this will make that move forward out of lockdown.

“All visitors do a lateral flow test and see residents in our visiting pad is in the conservatory- we had it specially built during the pandemic- families gain access from the front drive so they do not have to enter the home.

“All staff have a PCR test once a week and then two lateral flow test a week.”

Rebecca Jarvis, manager of Rockny House on Birmingham Road said: “All of our staff have received both doses of a Covid vaccine.

“I think it will be received quite well as anyone who gets into care is doing it to care for others and this is one way of doing this.”

A consultation has been carried out by government ministers into using staff vaccination in England.

A department of health and social care spokeswoman said: “Our priority is to make sure people in care homes are protected and we launched the consultation to get views on whether and how the government might take forward a new requirement for adult care home providers, looking after older people, to only deploy staff who have had a Covid-19 vaccination or have an appropriate exemption.”