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Slow booster programme risks care Covid surge

The slow delivery of Covid-19 booster vaccines to care and nursing home residents and staff risks a surge in new cases in care settings, providers have warned.

The provider organisation The Independent Care Group (ICG) is calling on the government to speed up the provision of the third injection to the vulnerable and their carers.

Latest figures show that just 27.8% of care and nursing home residents and just 14.1% of staff have had their third jab.

ICG chair Mike Padgham said: ‘The rollout isn’t happening quickly enough and that is putting care settings at risk once again.

‘Evidence shows that infection and death rates are rising again and history shows that vulnerable people are going to be most at risk if Covid-19 takes a hold.’

‘We are worried about the upward trend in cases and the impact this will have on the community in general and care settings in particular,’ he added.

‘We dread going back to a situation where we have increasing cases amongst residents and staff off sick with Covid-19, putting the care we offer in jeopardy.’

woman in blue button up shirt holding orange fruit

The ICG would like to see Mr Javid postpone the imposition of compulsory vaccination for care staff, which is scheduled to come in next month.

‘We are facing an ever-increasing staffing crisis and will need all hands to the pumps ahead of winter,’ Mr Padgham added. ‘The last thing we need is another 40,000 vacancies in the social care sector if the government persists with its no jab, no job rule for social care. We would ask Mr Javid to at least consider delaying if not scrapping that plan.’

Social care currently looks after 400,000 people in care and nursing homes, that is three times the number in NHS hospital beds. Social care looks after a further 640,000 people in their own homes. 

The Independent Care Group is a recognised representative body for independent care providers. It works on behalf of care providers for all client groups including care homes, domiciliary care agencies, supported living and extra care housing providers, and day care centres in the private and voluntary parts of the independent sector.

Photo Credit – CDC

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