Healthcare worker at home visit

More than 130 staff working in Cheshire East care homes have not had both Covid jabs, with half of these exempt on medical grounds, writes Belinda Ryan.

The matter was raised at an adults and health committee where Cllr Arthur Moran (Nantwich North & West, Ind) raised concerns the November deadline for all staff to be double jabbed could have a negative impact on staff numbers.

As current rules stand, care workers must be double-jabbed by November 11 to keep their jobs.

Referring to the report to the committee, Cllr Moran said: “It says that we’re going to increase the number of staff working in all care settings.

“That might be contradictory there, we might be losing care workers.”

Nichola Thompson, director of commissioning, said: “Obviously, the mandatory vaccination programme kicks in from November.

“As we stand today, we have 132 staff in our care homes that haven’t received the double vaccination, 68 of those are medically exempt.

“We track every individual in all of our care homes, all the staff, so that we know who’s vaccinated, and who isn’t.

“I think what’s really important is anybody entering a care home, like a hairdresser, or somebody that’s going to be maintaining a care home, also has to be double vaccinated and so we’re working with our care homes on how they check that vaccination status.

“So, we are in quite a positive position around double vaccination.”

Cllr Moran also cited a statement in the report which referred to a loss in public confidence in care homes and also asked whether visiting at care homes was back to normal.

Jill Broomhall, director of adult social care at Cheshire East Council, replied: “We did see that people lost confidence in care homes.”

She said tragically there were a lot of deaths and “you can’t possibly not be affected by that”.

“We had one day, in I think it was May 2020, that was a particularly awful day for all of our staff.

“We had lots of deaths of service users.

“We had staff who were quite poorly, and the mood of the staff, and indeed the mood of people ringing in to give us their information, was very, very low.

“And we worked very hard to pick up the mood, to pick up people’s morale, to thank people for the work they were doing, and how they were trying to keep people safe.”

Mrs Broomhall said that in relation to visiting people in care homes, there has been some relaxation.

“However, when homes are starting to see infections, albeit very small at the moment, then visiting restrictions have to come back in again,” she said.

“So then the visiting arrangements have changed slightly. People need to take a lateral flow test before they go into the home.”

(Library image for display purposes only)

One Comment

  1. The Observer says:

    PPE should be compulsory covid jabs are a personal thing and should be left to the employee to decide. To set a deadline for people to be jabbed is wrong as this was never a stipulation when the employment would have been undertaken, to insist that people get jabbed or lose their jobs is discrimination and very dangerous ground.

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