Operational guidance for COVID-19 vaccination of people working/deployed in care homes

Operational guidance for COVID-19 vaccination of people working/deployed in care homes

From 11th November 2021, new regulations will require all care home workers, and anyone working or volunteering inside the indoor premises of a CQC-regulated care home providing nursing or personal care, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (for a two dose vaccine that would mean both doses), unless they have a medical exemption.

Please use this [link] to access the operational guidance for these regulations, as well as information and resources to help you prepare for 11th November.

Who will the regulations apply to:
The regulations will require care home providers to deploy only those staff and volunteers who have received a complete course of their COVID-19 vaccination unless they are medically exempt.

Any professionals visiting a care home, such as healthcare workers, tradespeople, hairdressers and beauticians, and CQC inspectors will also be required to show they have been vaccinated before entering the home, unless they have a medical exemption.

Full details of who the regulations apply to can be found in the guidance.

The requirement will not apply to:
• Anyone who provides evidence that shows for clinical reasons they should not be vac-cinated.
• Family and friends visiting a care home resident
• Any person providing emergency assistance
• Any member of the emergency services in execution of their duties
• Anyone undertaking urgent maintenance work
• Any person who whom it is reasonable to provide comfort or support to a care home resi-dent in relation to their bereavement following the death of a relative or friend
• Any person visiting a dying care home resident.

Important dates to note:
22nd July
• The 16-week grace period started, following approval of the regulations by Parliament.
16th September
• Any staff or volunteers who are receiving a two-dose vaccine will need to get the first dose by this date in order to be fully vaccinated and be able to continue their role in a care home by the end of the grace period.

11th November
• The regulations come into force
• From this day onwards, it will be a requirement for anyone working or volunteering in care homes, and visiting professionals, to prove their vaccination status or that they have a medical exemption.

Information and resources:
We will continue to provide information and support to help colleagues to prepare for these regulations.
• We will be hosting a webinar on 17th August to provide information and answer questions care home managers and providers have on areas such as the public health rationale for the change in the law, enforcement, and the impact on the workforce. Please use this link Guidance for COVID-19 vaccination of people working/deployed in care homes Tickets, Tue 17 Aug 2021 at 12:30 | Eventbrite to sign up for the webinar.
• CQC has published their guidance, detailing their approach to enforcement which can be found here - www.cqc.org.uk/vaccinationsconditionofdeployment
• Deborah Sturdy, our Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, has written a blog about the regulations, including further information about the vaccine and how to book a vaccination appointment.
• A range of resources have been made available on the Skills for Care website including materials to support workforce capacity planning, recruitment, and retention - https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Recruitment-retention/COVID-19/COVID-19-Vaccination.aspx
• A Q&A and social media graphic outlining the key dates for these regulations is available to download here - VCOD - Google Drive
• There are also a wide range of communication resources available in the Comms toolkit which can accessed on PHE’s Campaign Resource Centre or via the Google Drive.

Yours faithfully,
Claire Armstrong
Director of Adult Social Care Delivery