The government has this evening announced that it is abandoning the legal requirement for healthcare workers to be Covid vaccinated.
The CSP welcomed the U-turn but is concerned that the government has asked NHS employers to consider requiring all new staff to be vaccinated regardless of their role and circumstances. The CSP is also disappointed that the government has asked professional regulators to review their rules and that it has refused to rule out reintroducing a legal requirement in future.
Commenting, CSP policy director Rob Yeldham said:
'The government has finally listened to the CSP and other health unions who warned that this was the wrong approach and threatened the ability of services to meet patient needs. So we welcome the U-turn, but the government must not try to bring this in by the back door instead.
'We have always supported vaccination for healthcare staff, but on a voluntary basis, because vaccination protects the vaccinated but does not guarantee they can't transmit the virus. Losing thousands of clinical staff, on top of the high vacancies services are already struggling with, would have made juggling Covid care and service recovery almost impossible.
'The government must now put renewed effort into addressing the concerns of healthcare professions and others who remain hesitant about vaccination.'
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