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Government not considering making vaccines mandatory for domiciliary care workers, Hancock suggests

Matt Hancock parliament

Domiciliary and live-in care professionals will not be included in plans to make coronavirus vaccines mandatory for frontline care staff, Matt Hancock has suggested.

The Department of Health and Social Care has launched a consultation on making coronavirus jabs a condition of employment for care home staff.

The five-week consultation will seek views on the proposal, any potential impact it could have on staffing and safety, how it could be implemented and who could be exempt.

But speaking in Parliament on Tuesday (April 20), the Health and Social Care Secretary said the government is not looking into making COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory for home care workers.

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“If you are a care worker, that means you are close to people who are vulnerable. That’s the nature of the job. That’s why I think it’s right to consider whether you can only be deployed in a care home if you have had a jab. We are looking into that. We have not said that for those who work in domiciliary care because it is those in care homes that are the highest risk of all,” he said.

“But I would absolutely urge anyone who is a carer, whether they work in social care or are an unpaid carer, if they haven’t already had the jab then please do, not just protect you, but to protect those over whom you have a duty of care.”

The news comes after a survey found that more than two thirds (70%) of home care providers in the UK believe that vaccination against coronavirus should be made compulsory for the workforce.

The survey, conducted by United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) between 23-26 March 2021, found that 50% ‘strongly support’ and 20% ‘support’ some form of legal requirement for home care staff to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

The research was conducted after a leaked document revealed that the government is considering putting in place legislation to make vaccination mandatory for the entire social care workforce.

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Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke