Sheffield care home boss pleads with Matt Hancock not to make Covid vaccines mandatory for staff
A Sheffield nursing home manager has pleaded with Health Secretary Matt Hancock not to make Covid vaccines mandatory in the care sector.
Donna Pierpoint, the manager of Broomgrove Care Home off Ecclesall Road, was writing on Twitter today after the Government confirmed it was looking at making vaccination compulsory for all care home staff.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said while there were ‘moral questions on both sides’, homes had a duty of care to put the interests of their exceptionally vulnerable residents first.
But this morning, Ms Pierpoint took to Twitter to appeal directly to Mr Hancock not to enforce vaccination on already highly pressurised care sector staff.
She said: “The staff have been under enough stress, anxiety and pressure this last year. They don't need law enforcing on them.
"We've had a better uptake of the covid vaccine than the flu vaccine, so staff do care. Those few who haven't had it have very valid reasons. Medical and personal. They have a human right to make that choice at the moment.
"Yes Nurses have the Hep B vaccine, but that has been about for years and well recognised. We haven't got enough evidence yet of the effect of two vaccines, but in another year we will have and they can make a more informed choice.”
Ms Pierpoint added that if such a law was brought in, care home staff could leave the industry, making it far more difficult to the sector to cope with any future surge in coronavirus.
She added: "If you force something on someone who doesn't want it, they will back off even more and we will lose very valuable, caring, experienced staff. This will devastate the care home industry. I thought we lived in a society of individual rights.
"And if you are doing this, why just care homes. The most vulnerable are in the community and hospitals so it should be the whole sector. Please don't pick on us again, when we've been the poor forgotten people in this whole pandemic."
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme earlier this week, Mr Hancock said the Government was considering changing the law, but hadn’t made a final decision and wanted to hear from care homes and care worker before it did so.