The government stipulated in August that all care home workers and visitors will have to prove they are fully vaccinated from Nov. 11 unless they are exempt under the regulations.
A new survey published on Friday by the Institute of Health and Social Care Management (IHSCM) and PA news agency suggests that half of the care homes will have to let go of some staff due to the new rule.
Among 1,045 care managers who responded to the survey by Aug. 25, more than half (55.31 percent) said that based on the vaccination rate of their staff at the time, they would have to dismiss staff before the Nov. 11 deadline. Nearly a quarter (23.83 percent) said they were not likely to have to dismiss staff while the rest said the question is not applicable to them.
A third (33.27 percent) of the respondents said they expect to lose between 1–5 percent of their staff by Nov. 11. One in six (16.13 percent) said they may lose between 6–10 percent of their staff. One in 25 (4.11 percent) predicted an 11–15 percent staff loss, and a similar portion of respondents (3.91 percent) forecasted a 16–20 percent staff loss.
Almost a third of the managers (31 percent) said they had already lost staff over the vaccine mandate. Most (28.19) said less than five of their staff had handed in their resignation due to their opposition to mandatory vaccination, 3.35 percent had lost between 6 and 10 staff, 0.61 percent had lost between 11 and 15 staff, 0.41 percent had lost between 16–20 staff, and 0.3 percent had lost more than 20 staff.
Asked what were the main reasons their staff gave for not getting the newly developed CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus vaccine, two in five (41.61 percent) chose “fearful of the vaccination,” 28.82 percent chose “pregnancy or fertility,” over a quarter (26.13 percent) chose “anti-vaccinations,” and 16.77 percent chose “religious, ethical, or cultural beliefs.”
Nine in ten (91.68 percent) of the managers said they were already experiencing workforce issues such as understaffing and difficulty in recruiting.
Half (49.29 percent) of the managers said these issues are already compromising the care and safety within their services, 92.06 percent said the care and safety within their services will be compromised if the problem worsens.
The UK Home Care Association (UKHCA) told PA that hospital patients are being put into care homes unnecessarily due to a national shortage of home care.
More than 200 home care managers told The IHSCM they have had to turn down requests for care in the last month because of insufficient staffing levels.
One manager said their provider is refusing packages every day and is not adding people to its waiting list until January 2022 at the earliest.
Another said they are refusing between 15 and 20 care packages a week, calling the situation “heartbreaking.”
Home care agencies provide a range of care and support in people’s homes.
This can include for people who need temporary support after being discharged from the hospital, older and disabled people who need help to live independently, those who wish to die at home, and to provide respite for family carers.
Joanna Mitchell, director of Your Care, which provides mainly palliative care, said she had to turn down around 30 care packages one morning this week.
She takes referrals from NHS community nurses and hospitals to help people live their final days at home, and said she is aware of one person locally who has been waiting more than six weeks.
The 55-year-old told PA that the Kent-based company has been understaffed for three months, calling the workload “phenomenal,” and she has spent £2,000 ($2,774) on recruitment this month alone but cannot get suitable candidates to interview.
“It’s heartbreaking, because families are left to struggle on their own in what’s already a really emotional environment, you know their loved one is dying, and we just can’t get to them quick enough, if at all. It’s really sad,” she said.
Apart from care home workers, clubbers and attendants of some other venues will also have to produce evidence of CCP vaccination. The government has also deployed other incentives to encourage vaccine takeup among the younger population.
However, a recent study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine suggests this carrot-and-stick rationale may not hold true.
Among those who have received only one dose of the vaccine, almost 90 percent said that they would not be more or less likely to take the second dose if the passport scheme was introduced.
Of the remainder who said that the scheme would change their minds, however, two-thirds said it would make them less likely to have a second jab.
The study’s lead author told The Guardian that these percentages become significant when scaled up to the whole population.
Simon Veazey and PA contributed to this report.