The government has been urged to at least delay the implementation of compluslory covid jabs for NHS staff amid serious workforce concerns.
Conservative MPs are putting pressure on ministers to scrap a law that requires all NHS staff to have the jab as health bosses prepare to start sacking around 80,000 employees in 2 weeks from now.
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All frontline NHS workers must have had two doses of the vaccine by April 1, which means that by February 3 the first of the two doses must have been given.
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The Mail Online reports: But more than 80,000 – 6 per cent of the workforce – remain unvaccinated despite repeated efforts to boost take-up.
New NHS guidance to employers says staff who have not been jabbed should start being called into formal meetings from February 4 and warned they face dismissal with the notice period ending on March 31.
But the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives have urged ministers to delay the rules, saying they could have a ‘catastrophic’ impact on the delivery of services.
And Mark Harper, the chairman of the Covid Recovery Group of Conservative MPs, yesterday urged No 10 to reconsider its approach.
He said: ‘The Government is still ploughing on, regardless of the consequences on staffing levels. It’s nonsense. Ministers must change course.’
He posted a link to the Government’s own impact assessment, which says 73,000 NHS staff in England could be lost because of the rules.
He added: ‘Here are the stark numbers – which let’s not forget are real people with real families – behind this policy.’
Health Secretary Sajid Javid last week told the Commons the Government remained committed to the plans.