All 1.2m NHS staff will have to have a Covid-19 vaccination by Spring next year, according to reports, despite criticism that the move could lead to a percentage of the workforce quitting.
Health secretary Sajid Javid heeded the advice of NHS Providers boss, Chris Hopson, who urged that compulsory jabs should wait until April 2022, to ensure the NHS can get through the “very, very difficult winter” with most of its workforce.
“If we lose very large numbers of unvaccinated staff, particularly over the winter period, then that also constitutes a risk to patient safety and quality of care,” Hopson told BBC Breakfast earlier this week.
The formal announcement is reportedly expected to come as soon as Thursday.
NHS Providers and the NHS Confederation, the two bodies that represent NHS trusts in England, strongly advised the health secretary to hold back the measure until next year.
Mandatory vaccinations are not new for NHS staff, with surgeons and other staff undertaking “exposure-prone” procedures requiring a Hepatitis B vaccine.
New York implemented the same policy with its police officers across the pond, a move which saw unions to warn of up to 10,000 officers quitting in response – however, just 34 officers took unpaid leave.