Revitalise, a charity and specialist respite breaks provider, says it is on the verge of losing a significant proportion of staff and faces closing one of their holiday homes due to the new mandatory vaccine law.
The law, which will make Covid-19 vaccines compulsory for all care home staff, is due to come in on 11th November. The charity is now pleading with the government to re-think its introduction, saying the law will deepen the staffing crisis in social care.
Revitalise say they are set to lose 29% of their overall staffing complement in one centre, which could see the centre forced to close its doors unless they urgently find replacement staff.
The charity, who have provided respite care breaks for 57 years, say they are a vital lifeline to many unpaid home carers and their disabled family members.
Revitalise CEO Jan Tregelles said the mandatory vaccine law will have “devastating consequences” for the charity and the care sector as a whole.
She explains the charity has five longstanding employees who are subject to consultation because they do not wish to be vaccinated and another seven who have had the jab but are so outraged that they are threatening to resign in protest.
“To be clear, this is not because my colleagues wish to put our guests at risk, it is because they believe in their human right to bodily integrity and because they know that the measures that we already deploy keep our guests safe.
“They also cannot understand the logic of the regulations, which will not apply to residents or their visitors, nor to NHS workers. The Government has stated that it is in consultation with the NHS, but such proposals are unlikely to come into force until spring 2022, after the winter period. It simply does not make sense,” she added.
Revitalise is urging the government to “think again”
Ms Tregelles says without these staff, the centre may have to close, putting the whole charity under threat, just as we will see with countless other care homes up and down the country.
“I therefore urge the Government to think again about the mandatory vaccination law and work with care providers to ease, not exacerbate, the staffing crisis, to seek more balanced ways to encourage vaccination take up and to consider a range of different measures to ensure that care workers and the cared for, are looked after safely. Otherwise, they will be crippling a social care sector facing the worst staffing shortages in history,” she said.