1,000s of Suffolk care staff could lose job in a week as carers still not vaccinated

EMBARGOED TO 0001 THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 16 File photo DATED 31/07/21 of a person receiving a Covid-19 j

Fears have been expressed that not enough Suffolk is double vaccinated from coronavirus - Credit: PA

Thousands of Suffolk care staff could lose their job this week as many carers are still not vaccinated. 

From Thursday, it will be mandatory for staff in registered care homes in England to have both jabs as a condition of deployment, unless they are exempt for valid medical reasons.

Some care homes like Alysia Caring Ltd's Hadleigh-based Magdalen House confirmed to this newspaper that it has all staff fully vaccinated with boosters and so was unconcerned by the government's rules. 

Care UK's two Ipswich homes, Asterbury Place and Prince George House, Bury St Edmunds homes, Davers Court and Glastonbury Court, and Suffolk and north Essex locations, Cedrus House, Davers Court, Cleves Place, Hartismere Place, Mills Meadow, Britten Court, Silversprings, Tall Trees, Colne View and Haven Lodge, have had the majority of staff fully vaccinated. 

Weekly vaccination data from the NHS shows on October 28, a total of 7,880 out of 8,440, 93.4%, staff in older adult care homes were double vaccinated in Suffolk and will legally be able to work in a care home from November 11. This makes a total of 560 staff unvaccinated. 

Independent CQC-registered younger adult care homes workers were 90.9% doubled jabbed, meaning 41 staff do not have the jab.

A total of 78.3% of independent domiciliary care providers were fully vaccinated, with 1,642 staff without two jabs, and non-registered providers and local authority employed, were on 17.6%. This leaves another 5,763 not fully vaccinated. 

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The regulations also cover any worker, including NHS staff, tradespeople and inspectors, who needs to enter a care home as part of their employment.

These numbers of staff without both jabs also include staff who cannot be vaccinated for valid medical reasons.

Conservative cabinet member for adult care services, Beccy Hopfensperger.

Conservative cabinet member for adult care services, Beccy Hopfensperger. - Credit: Simon Lee Photography Suffolk UK

Suffolk county councillor Beccy Hopfensperger, the cabinet member for adult care, warned that this government policy will worsen the social care crisis. 

Ms Hopfensperger said: "We are trying to do all we can to attract care staff but this is an already stretched situation.

"Covid has made the problem even worse. This is just another issue that adds to the crisis in care."

"We are keen to raise the profile of social care. It's a difficult job and we need to show how valued they are. In this sector, the NHS often gets the limelight when social care is often working alongside them.

"In Suffolk, we are quite lucky to have 90% of our homes good or outstanding as rated by the Care Quality Commission."

The government is expected to look at wider social care and NHS staff after a consultation on extending the mandatory vaccination condition.