No care homes are to close - despite some staff still unvaccinated
MANDATORY DEADLINE PASSED
SOME care home staff were still not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 ahead of the imposed deadline for mandatory vaccinations.
However, both Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council have said no care homes will be forced to close as a result due to a shortage of staff.
The deadline for all care home staff and workers who enter care homes to provide services to be double jabbed was Thursday.
The city and county councils adopted a traffic light system to monitor the likelihood of a care home having to close due to staff shortages.
Care homes rated as red were those with a high risk of having to close when the law came into effect.
Both councils reported none of their care homes were in the red category, as of Wednesday.
The city council said only two of its care homes were rated as amber, which meant there were some staff who had not been vaccinated and cannot work.
Leicestershire has nine care homes in that category.
Both councils said they continued to work with these care homes to ensure they had enough support, but that none of them risk closure.
Staff who are unable to provide proof of vaccination or who have a legitimate exemption have been told managers will explore all options.
However, the regulations might provide a fair reason for dismissal.
The county council said the steps being taken at this stage include helping care home recruit staff and continuing to discuss concerns about the vaccine with those who are not yet double jabbed.
Councillor Christine Radford, cabinet member for adult social care, said: “I’m pleased we have got to a position where the vast majority of Leicestershire’s care home staff are now double jabbed, as required by the government. We are in regular contact with care homes and are continuing to advise and support them if they have staffing issues associated with vaccination or any other pressure caused by the pandemic.
“We are still encouraging any care staff who have not yet had their second vaccination to book it as a soon as possible.
“Vaccination remains the very best way for care staff to protect themselves, and those people they look after, from coronavirus.”
The city council said it believes the two homes in the city still classed as amber will be able to continue to operate without risk to their residents following the deadline.
A spokesman for the council said: “In Leicester, we have been working closely with the 101 care homes that operate in the city to support them to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated so that they are able to continue to provide safe and effective care for their residents once the legislation comes into force.
“The hard work and commitment of the homes, together with access to a robust vaccination programme locally, means we have confidence that 99 of 101 homes are fully vaccinated and able to continue to operate quality care to the people living in their homes.
“We have two homes which we continue to work closely with regarding their staffing situation.
“While we are continuing to work with them, we are confident that they have good contingency arrangements in place, which means they will be able to operate safe services and the residents will not be unduly affected.
“The council will continue to oversee all homes to be assured they are meeting the regulations.”
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