The National Booking System is now open for home care workers and other frontline social care staff who haven’t yet had their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Minister of Care Helen Whately announced the news on Twitter last night, adding that the vaccine is “vital protection” against the virus.
It comes after a recent survey found that 32% of home care staff in England have been vaccinated.
Publishing the findings last week, UKHCA said there was “clear evidence of strong willingness” on the part of most home care workers to receive the jab, but warned that there is “substantial variation” in vaccination rates within and between local authorities.
CEO Dr Townson said that while some local areas vaccinated members of the workforce even before the official Standard Operating Procedure was published, a proportion of providers have still not heard anything from their local council.
UKHCA policy director Colin Angel described the news as a “major development” for social care workers and said responses to the survey helped provide the evidence-base to make it happen.
Angel said the news is also a “major breakthrough” for live-in care staff, most of whom haven’t yet received their first coronavirus vaccine doses.
UKHCA’s survey showed that live-in care services face additional challenges to obtain vaccinations for staff because care workers are typically working with clients in a different local authority area from where their employers’ office is based.
Angel told HCI: “For over a month UKHCA has urged the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England to provide an effective system which will help care workers undertaking 24-hour live-in care services to receive a vaccination wherever in the country they are currently on placement.
“The National Booking Service is a major breakthrough for the live-in care sector, and for the entire social care workforce who haven’t yet been able to be booked into their vaccination appointments.”
The National Booking System can be found here.
Caption: Image credit – UKHCA.