Learn lessons from ‘no jab, no job’ fiasco, says ICG

THE Government should learn lessons from the newly-axed ‘no jab, no job’ policy and listen to care providers, The Independent Care Group said today.

The Government has finally confirmed it is no longer compulsory for NHS and social care staff to have Covid-19 jabs to work in care settings.

The policy was introduced in care and nursing homes last November and was due to come into effect in NHS and other care settings in April. It has been axed following Government consultation.

The ICG has welcomed the confirmation but says if the Government had listened to the care sector it would never have introduced the policy.

Chair Mike Padgham said: “Mandatory vaccination was very damaging for care and nursing homes. We warned before it was introduced last November that many good, kind, caring and professional staff would be lost to the policy and that proved to be the case. Most of those we will never get back.

“The policy exacerbated staff shortages in care and nursing homes, already dire because of the pandemic and the impact of Brexit.

“We are pleased that the policy has now been reversed – it should never have been introduced in the first place.

“Vaccination is a good thing and the right thing for the care sector, but it should be a personal choice. Because of the policy many good people were lost to social care and will have found other jobs. We will not get them back again.”

He said the Government’s actions were typical of the way it treats social care.

“Social care providers are simply not listened to and this is another example of the sector being regarded as a Cinderella profession,” Mr Padgham added.

“Had the Government listened to care providers when we said the policy was wrong a lot of unnecessary job losses, disrupted care, anxiety and heartache for the sector could have been avoided.

“When care providers speak they do so from experience and from a desire to ensure that we can continue to deliver the best possible care for the oldest and most vulnerable in our community.

“If there are lessons to be learned from the whole ‘no jab, no job’ fiasco then we hope that it is for the Government to listen more to those who know and care.”