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Home  »   Coronavirus (COVID-19)Latest News   »   UK Government reverse policy on mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations of staff in CQC regulated roles

UK Government reverse policy on mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations of staff in CQC regulated roles

The UK government has announced that the mandatory Covid-19 vaccination of healthcare workers for deployment in certain CQC regulated roles will no longer be implemented on 1 April 2022 as it is no longer considered proportionate.

Tue 1st February 2022 The PDA

The change in policy was published in a statement from the government, which says that, “regulations making vaccines a condition of deployment for health and social care staff are set to be revoked, subject to public consultation and parliamentary approval.”

The reason for the U-turn was given as, “the balance of opportunities and risks of the policy have now changed with the dominance of Omicron. The booster rollout has been successful, and workforce challenges remain.”

The deadline of 1 April 2022 for those working in CQC regulated roles, or students attending placements has now been lifted. It was feared that the implementation of the policy at this time would see significant numbers of NHS staff no longer being able to be deployed in frontline roles due to their vaccination status. This would impact the ability of the system to cope with the workload.

Despite the legal requirement on deployment being set to be revoked, the government’s position remains that those working in health and social care still have a professional duty to get vaccinated.

The Secretary of State for Health, Sajid Javid, made a statement to the House of Commons, in which he highlighted some of the steps that have been put in place following the review of policy;

  • Written to professional regulators operating across health to ask them to urgently review current guidance to registrants on vaccinations, including Covid-19 to emphasise their professional responsibilities in this area.
  • Asked the NHS to review its policies on the hiring of new staff and the deployment of existing staff, taking into account their vaccination status.
  • Asked officials to consult on updating the Department of Health and Social Care’s Code of Practice, which applies to all CQC registered providers of all healthcare and social care in England.
  • A consultation will follow on “strengthening requirements in relation to Covid-19 including reflecting the latest advice on infection prevention control.”

The PDA has been advising members working in England on this situation, including students with placements arranged in CQC-regulated workplaces. The PDA is also encouraging those affected to now speak to their employer or education provider following the changes announced.

Students who have been informed that Covid-19 vaccinations are a requirement of continuing their course should highlight the issue with their PDA Student Rep. They should also contact their Pharmacy School to ask for the policy to be reviewed in light of the government’s announcement. The PDA is contacting the Pharmacy School’s Council to inquire about their position considering the recent developments.

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