Mandatory vaccinations in care homes: 16 weeks and counting

We mentioned in our last newsletter that, subject to certain exemptions, the government planned to require all care home workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19. That regulation was still in draft form and subject to parliamentary approval.

We can now report that the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021, which make it mandatory for workers in care homes to have the Covid-19 vaccination, have been made and will come into force on 11th November 2021.

By 11th November 2021, providers must ensure that workers do not enter a care home unless they have had a complete course of an authorised vaccine or are exempt.

The exemptions include:

  • Those who cannot have the vaccine for clinical reasons, provided they supply satisfactory evidence.
  • Where it is reasonably necessary to enter for emergency assistance or urgent maintenance work.
  • Members of the emergency services attending as part of their duties.
  • Friends or relatives of a service user.
  • To visit a service user who is dying.
  • Where it is reasonably necessary to provide comfort or support to a service user concerning a bereavement following the death of a friend or relative.
  • Those under the age of 18.

The regulations apply to all ‘care homes’, which means any home that provides accommodation together with nursing or personal care for any person who is or has been ill, has or has had a mental disorder, is disabled or infirm, or who is or has been dependent on alcohol or drugs.

Providers must act quickly to respond to these regulations. We can help you:

  • to plan for the changes and avoid disruption
  • to communicate with your workforce
  • to manage those who decide not to get the vaccine
  • to review policies and procedures.