Double vaccination in care home settings
How do we care for our vulnerable adults who are in care homes as we continue to navigate our way through the coronavirus pandemic? Medical evidence is available to confirm that those individuals who were fully vaccinated have a reduced capacity to contract the coronavirus and to transmit it to others. The care of vulnerable people particularly where personal care is provided, by staff and relatives is of a key risk so how is this managed?
The Department of Health and Social Care has issued new guidelines and regulations for people working in or deployed in social care settings. From 11th November 2021, it will be a requirement of care home managers to ensure that all staff within the home and any individuals deployed to the home are fully vaccinated or have an exemption that they will be required to show evidence for.
The regulations require that a person must not enter a care home unless
- the person resides in the care home used by the registered person (a resident) – ‘registered person’ means person registered with the CQC as a manager or service provider in respect of a regulated activity – in this case, the regulated activity for the provision of accommodation for persons requiring nursing or personal care
- the person has provided the registered person with the satisfactory evidence that they have either been vaccinated with a complete course of an authorised vaccine or for clinical reasons they should not be vaccinated
- The person is a member of the emergency services and is executing their duties
- the person is a friend or relative of a resident
- it is reasonably necessary for the person to provide comfort or support to a resident in relation to a residence bereavement following the death of a relative or friend
- the person is visiting a resident who is dying
- the person is under the age of 18
For those individuals who may be exempt this is for a clinical reason, there is due to be a helpline where they can make an application for exemption. At this point we are not aware as to when that helpline will be accessible and what the process will be for individuals to follow.
Care home managers are currently working with their employees to ascertain their vaccination status, to provide information the reason for the regulation changes, and where necessary regarding the vaccinations.
Those individuals who are exempt will be required to have a risk assessment carried out for them and their role. The reference being that without the full vaccination they may still pose a risk to themselves and all residents. Outcomes of such risk assessments may include any options of redeployment and/or additional personal protective equipment.
Some individuals have raised concerns regarding the regulations and their personal wishes regarding vaccinations. Care home managers are supporting in the consultation with employees and the understanding of the implications should they not be vaccinated at 11th November 2021.
This is a complex area of work and care home managers are finding it difficult to navigate Acorn Support are providing the guidance and assistance to a number of clients and their employees to reach a resolution on the matter. The last date for a first dose of a vaccine is 16th September 2021 in order that a second vote dose may be administered prior to 11th November 2021 when the regulations come into force
The Acorn team are attending a number of webinars, legal updates and discussions around this matter in order that our clients can be supported and guided through these changes alongside the consultation with their employees.