The National Care Forum (NCF) has warned there is a “mountain to climb” to reach the government’s target of vaccinating all care staff by February 15.
In a press briefing covering its Pulse Survey for the period 1-31 January, the NCF said that “large gaps” remained in the majority of services between the number of staff vaccinated and the government’s February 15 target of 100%.
The survey found that 41% of care home staff still had to be vaccinated with the shortfall even larger in extra care housing and supported living services (48%), home care services (55%) and community based services (60%).
In a quick snapshot follow-up survey to check the position as of February 8, data revealed that the biggest gaps appear to be in home care services, where 38% of those responding still had less than 40% of their staff vaccinated and over 30% of all services other than care home for older adults had less than 40% of staff vaccinated.
NCF executive director, Vic Rayner (pictured), said there remained a “huge mountain to climb” on reaching the government’s target.
Results from the survey came ahead of today’s announcement 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.
UKHCA policy director Colin Angel described the news as a “major development” for social care workers.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history, and so far our heroic health and care staff have vaccinated more people than every country in Europe put together.
“We have visited every eligible care home in England, offering vaccinations to all residents and staff, and are on track to meet our target of offering all of those in priority groups 1-4, which includes frontline social care workers, their first vaccine dose by mid-February.
“Health and social care staff are playing crucial roles on the frontline of this pandemic and their employers are in the process of contacting them to make sure they get their vaccine as soon as possible.”