VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS FOR CARE HOMES IN ENGLAND

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Changes to regulations mean that from 11th November 2021 care homes in England must ensure that they do not allow anyone to enter the premises, unless they have had a complete course of an authorised vaccine or fall into one of the exempted groups, below:

  • Residents
  • The person has provided satisfactory evidence that they have been vaccinated with the complete course of an authorised vaccine or for medical reasons they should not be vaccinated or they are under the age of 18
  • In an emergency e.g. a member of the emergency services carrying out their duties or to carry out urgent maintenance work (e.g. responding to a gas leak)
  • the person is a friend or relative of the resident visiting the resident (including unpaid carers and designated essential care givers)
  • the person is visiting a resident who is dying (e.g. to provide spiritual care)
  • it is reasonably necessary for the person to provide comfort or support to a resident in relation to a resident’s bereavement following the death of a relative or friend

Unless they are exempt, care homes will have to check that all persons wishing to enter have received a full course of vaccination or are exempt. The care home’s registered person should keep a record of:

  • the vaccination or exemption status of staff members and the date that the status was last checked
  • the vaccination or exemption status of those entering the care home unless exempt and the date that the status was last checked

There is no requirement for registered persons to record the clinical reason behind the exemption – they should only record whether a person is medically exempt or not.

Full details can be found on the GOV.Uk website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vaccination-of-people-working-or-deployed-in-care-homes-operational-guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-of-people-working-or-deployed-in-care-homes-operational-guidance#guidance-for-staff

Where a care home has staff who are unvaccinated for medical reasons (or because they are not yet old enough) then it will be a case of assessing the individual and their role and putting in place appropriate controls.

Where a member of staff is unvaccinated through choice (i.e. they are not medically exempt or under 18) then it would be against the law for the care home to allow them into the premises and it becomes a HR matter which could result in the person being redeployed to other work or even dismissed if no other work is available. There is further information on this in the guidance.

Please speak to your normal PIB Risk Management contact or get in touch using info@pibrm.com  if you have any questions or would like support with health and safety or HR related matters.