The Minister for Care has written a letter to local authorities and social care providers, outlining the actions they should take to support the vaccination of all community-based frontline care workers.
It states that if you employ social care workers who have not already been offered the vaccine you must:
- put together a list of eligible staff so you can provide overall numbers to the local authority
- ensure each staff member receives the letter about consent from Public Health England and their letter of eligibility from your local authority
- support staff to make informed decisions about getting the vaccine
- support staff to have the vaccine, considering the COVID-secure logistics of releasing staff while maintaining appropriate care
- keep staff records of vaccinations to report on uptake (where appropriate via the Capacity Tracker as you do with flu vaccination)
Note that this article has been slightly modified from the original version sent out by HCI last week.
The government has previously announced that the NHS Covid vaccination programme will offer a first vaccination appointment to all eligible frontline social care workers by mid-February.
Minister for Care, Helen Whately said: “I have seen for myself how incredibly hard the social care sector has worked throughout this pandemic to provide safe, compassionate care to some of the most at risk people in our society.
“Vaccines are our way out of this pandemic and this guidance will help us offer a jab to everyone in the top four priority groups, including frontline social care staff.
“By getting vaccinated, care workers can help protect themselves from becoming seriously ill from Covid-19 so they can continue to be there for their family, friends, and the people they care for.”
Sir David Pearson, chair of the Covid-19 Social Care Support Taskforce, said: “The social care sector is even more diverse than the NHS and involves a significant number of different employers, including individual service users – this makes any vaccine rollout challenging.
“Throughout the pandemic we have strengthened relationships with local authorities, service users and providers and this additional guidance will play an important part in rolling out the crucial vaccine to staff working across the sector. This shot in the arm will give staff the protection they need to work our way out of the pandemic and back to life as we knew it.”