The deadline for mandatory COVID vaccinations in care home staff is moving ever closer, adding to staffing pressures in social care on the Isle of Wight.
Those working in care homes or any professional visiting a care home regulated by the Care Quality Commission, need to be double jabbed unless medically exempt or in an emergency, from November 11.
However, the deadline for staff to have had at least their first Covid vaccination is next week.
The impact on the Island’s frontline care home provision is anticipated to be in around five per cent of the workforce, which is smaller than the number nationally, where between seven and ten per cent of workers will be impacted.
Laura Gaudion, Isle of Wight Council interim director of adult social care, said the national pressures being reflected on the Island, in terms of a lack of workforce, would not be ‘assisted greatly’ when the deadline is reached.
Speaking at the council’s policy and scrutiny committee for health and social care last night (Monday), Ms Gaudion said the council was providing support to its workforce, and other providers, to ensure people have enough information to make an informed decision around their vaccination status.
Work done by teams from Public Health and the Clinical Commissioning Groups had had a positive impact on people, Ms Gaudion said, standing them in good stead.
The government is now consulting on whether to make it mandatory for all frontline health and care staff to have a COVID vaccination, expanding from just care staff.
At the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, chief nurse, Mary Aubrey, said nearly 3,300 staff have been vaccinated or 85 per cent of the workforce.
Speaking at the trust board meeting last week, Ms Aubrey said they do need to increase the number of staff vaccinated to try and get herd immunity, which will protect staff and patients even more.
Ms Aubrey said the trust is working with members of the community team who have to go into social care settings who have not been vaccinated, to motivate them to do so.
She said the trust was not going with an enforcement approach but a supportive and collaborative one to encourage the vaccination uptake among staff.