Mandatory COVID vaccination for NHS staff
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, has announced that, from 1 April 2022, it will be compulsory for all patient-facing staff working within the NHS in England to have received both doses of the COVID vaccine. Along with other health unions – along with NHS Employers and others – the RCM has expressed its concern at the implementation of this policy. The RCM’s position has consistently been to encourage and persuade staff to take up the vaccine offer – something it will continue to do.
The RCM will produce guidance for members and influence that for employers to ensure that members are supported, both in the interim and when the policy is enacted. Within this, there will be advice on ensuring all reasonable routes are taken to redeploy unvaccinated staff away from patient-facing roles, to explore medical exemptions, and to demand Risk and Equality Impact Assessments.
When the policy comes into effect, the RCM will, of course, provide appropriate representation to members.