For action: All staff entering a care home need to be vaccinated, unless exempt

Dear Colleagues,

For action: All staff entering a care home need to be vaccinated, unless exempt

New government regulations1 come into force on 11 November 2021, requiring care home staff to refuse entry to anybody who cannot provide evidence that they have had two doses of a Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) approved COVID-19 vaccine, or that they come within a specified exemption. This applies to all Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated care homes providing nursing or personal care in England.

Please could you ensure that all providers delivering NHS-funded services into a care home:

• are aware of this new government regulation and associated guidance
• have actively supported staff to have their first COVID-19 vaccine by 16 September 2021 (as eight weeks is required between the two doses)
• carry out proactive workforce planning to ensure:

‒ only staff who are vaccinated, or exempt, are ever deployed to enter a care home from 11 November
‒ service provision is not disrupted once this government regulation comes into force

• ensure that relevant staff will be able to demonstrate to care home staff, via the NHS Covid Pass service, that they have either been fully vaccinated or are exempt from the requirement.

Alongside this letter, we have published a series of FAQs, which will be updated on a regular basis, to support systems and providers to implement this government new regulation. This FAQ document should be read alongside DHSC operational guidance.

Implementing this government regulation will help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in care homes. Thank you for your support with this important work.