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Vaccine mandate to push Radis Community Care to ‘bursting point’, warns founder

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The founder of a Radis Community Care has warned that compulsory COVID-19 rules will push his company to “bursting point” after it was forced to withdraw services across England and Wales.

Deepish Patel, whose company employs more than 2,000 carers, told inews that Radis has been turning referrals away from local authorities and the NHS since the early part of the summer due to staffing issues.

And he warned that the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandate will leave the company unable to fill existing vacancies.

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“Having staff who are unvaccinated providing care is, to me, the lesser of two evils versus just not having enough staff to support people to live independently,” Patel, who founded Radis with his brother Samir in 2001, told i.

“Care has always been difficult from a workforce point of view – this is the worst it has ever been by some distance. We’re out of ideas, we don’t have the staff, we’ve got most of our workforce doing overtime, covering additional hours so that’s hiding some of the problems. We’ve not got the new recruits coming through.”

The Home Care Association has previously warned that up to a quarter of the home care workforce could be lost when vaccination becomes a condition of deployment on April 1, 2022.

Patel said Radis was already operating with more than 100 vacancies, while 5% of the current workforce – just over 100 people – had not had any vaccine doses.

And he expressed concern that his company will be forced to continue turning down new contracts, leaving hundreds of people without the care and support they need.

“Over the coming weeks we are expecting to see a lot of staff [leaving] just as care homes have had [staff] leaving. That’s one impact. Another one will be new recruits drying up – people who don’t want the vaccine not applying for jobs in care,” said Patel.

“It’s unsustainable to the point now we’re even withdrawing from some areas because we just can’t maintain staff at safe levels.

“I think we’re going to be in a position where we will be withdrawing from contracts in quite a largescale way and trying to get back to safe levels. We simply won’t provide care if we don’t believe it’s safe if we haven’t got enough staff cover to manage.”

Patel added: “I would say, absolutely, the issue of the mandatory vaccine is really going to push us to bursting point.”

Tags : mandatory vaccinationRadis Community Carestaff shortagesvaccines
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke