VODG responds to decision to revoke vaccination as a condition of deployment for health and social care staff1 February 2022
In response to news that regulations making vaccines a condition of deployment for health and social care staff are set to be revoked, subject to public consultation and parliamentary approval, Dr Rhidian Hughes, Chief Executive of VODG, said:“News that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) plans to revoke the vaccination as a condition of deployment for health and social care staff regulations is deeply damaging to the sector’s trust in this department.
“Over the past few months, the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) and others in the sector have consistently voiced and represented the concerns of charities clearly stating why these regulations were challenging, disorganised, and ill thought through. The government could have, and should have, listened before embarking on this damaging journey.
“Having very recently been assured, from one of the highest levels, that the decision was final, VODG members have set about navigating how to implement these regulations. This includes engaging in difficult consultation discussions with employees and in some cases, already losing staff.
“The revocation of these regulations offers short-term clarity. It enables providers to continue to foster a ‘hearts and minds’ approach encouraging the uptake of vaccinations. Yet there can be no doubt that the DHSC has wreaked havoc on an already fragile social care workforce.
“The latest U-turn is a very good reminder of the confused and chaotic approach to social care COVID-19 policy and guidance that we have been experiencing from the outset of this pandemic. We will continue to encourage DHSC to better prepare, to listen and engage with those drawing on social care, and the charities supporting them, to ensure that policy decisions are fit-for-purpose and designed to improve, not confuse.”VODG Media Centre