Legal Information

New government regulations mean that, from 11 November 2021, all colleagues in a CQC-registered care home in England, and anyone entering a care home to provide services or work, will need to be fully vaccinated, unless they are exempt under the regulations.

In addition to these new regulations, on 9th September 2021 the government announced the beginning of 6 weeks of consultation in relation to mandatory COVID-19 and flu vaccinations for all frontline health and social care workers in England.

From 11 November 2021, it will become law that anyone entering a CQC registered care home must have had a complete course of an authorised COVID-19 vaccine. It applies to all people working in or from the home regardless of contracted hours.  And includes bank staff, temporary workers, and volunteers. They will only be able to continue to work inside a CQC registered care home if they are vaccinated, unless they are:

  • under the age of 18,
  • medically exempt.

In accordance with the regulations, religious and other personal beliefs will not be accepted as a valid reason for refusing to be vaccinated.

These regulations only apply to CQC registered care homes who provide accommodation together with nursing or personal care. However, the government’s new consultation on mandatory COVID-19 and flu vaccinations for all frontline health and social care workers in England is likely to affect colleagues working in our services. It could mean that the above regulations are extended to other health and social care settings. With that in mind, our unvaccinated colleagues are advised to book their vaccination at the earliest opportunity. We will keep you updated on any developments relating to the government’s new consultation.

No, the new laws do not apply to residents, their family, and friends (although they are strongly advised to be vaccinated unless medically exempt).  Our services will continue to maintain infection, prevention, and control measures to ensure visits are managed safely. 

We strongly recommend that you book your first vaccination as soon as possible. Please visit this page for guidance on how to book your vaccination: https://colleaguesupport.uk/vmh/booking-a-vaccine/

Frontline health and care staff over the age of 16 are eligible for a vaccine. These individuals should make sure they get a full course of an MHRA approved vaccine before they turn 18.

There are very few reasons for medical exemption.  These reflect the Green Book on Immunisation against infectious disease, chapter 14a and clinical advice from the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). 

If you think you could or should be exempt, follow the Department of Health & Social Cares published the guidance on how to apply for official proof of medical exemption from the COVID 19 vaccination.

The steps are:

1 – You phone the NHS COVID Pass service on 119 to ask for an NHS COVID Pass medical exemptions application form. The call handler at the NHS COVID Pass service will ask you some questions.  You will need to give:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • NHS number (if they know it)
  • the name of their GP and/or specialist clinician

2 – If you are eligible to apply, you’ll get an application form by post.  You should not ask your GP for an application form. If you do go to your GP before you get your application form you’ll be asked to call the NHS COVID pass service on 119.

3 – You need to return your application form to the GP or relevant clinician stated on the form. The application will be clinically reviewed by your doctor, specialist or midwife and may ask to speak with you if needed, but you won’t need to book this when you submit your application.

4 – You will automatically get the results of your application by post 2 to 3 weeks after applying. You don’t need to contact their GP or the clinician reviewing their exemption unless you are asked to contact them.

5 – If you get a medical exemption, you can use the domestic NHS COVID Pass wherever you need to.  The pass won’t show others that you have a medical exemption, just that you have the NHS COVID Pass.

You can access the NHS COVID Pass digitally – on the NHS app or the NHS website or download it as a pdf (a paper version of the pass will be available soon)

6 – The clinical decision on your medical exemption is final.  You cannot appeal the decision.

Receiving an exemption does not mean you are protected against COVID-19.  You should self-isolate if they have any symptoms of COVID-19.

You can see the full guide here COVID-19 medical exemptions: proving you are unable to get vaccinated – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-medical-exemptions-proving-you-are-unable-to-get-vaccinated

Colleagues who have received a COVID-19 vaccination abroad can self-certify using a form (available to download, read, sign and return below). This is because it is not clinically appropriate for them to be vaccinated in the UK if they have already received a partial or full course of vaccination overseas.

DOWNLOAD OVERSEAS VACCINATION FORM

The NHS continues to lead the vaccination process. It’s easy to arrange a vaccination. You can book online through the national booking service or call 119. You can also visit one of hundreds of walk-in centres across the country without the need to book in advance.  Find your nearest centre.

Your Manager will also be able to help and advise you about the easiest and quickest way to book a vaccination.

Need to find out more?

If you have any more questions about the vaccine not covered here, we are keen to help and advise you. Please get in touch via our Contact page and our colleague support team will get in touch as soon as possible.


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