Covid: Around 300 staff at South Yorkshire hospital trust are unvaccinated

A Barnsley Hospital chief says unvaccinated frontline staff will be ‘supported to consider their decision again’, before vaccinations are made mandatory in April.

Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 12:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 1:12 pm

The government announced last month that health and social care workers, including volunteers who have face-to-face contact with service users, will need to provide evidence they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to keep their job.

Dr Richard Jenkins, chief executive of Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust told a meeting of the trust’s board of directors on December 2: “We’ve been doing quite a lot of work to get ready for the issue about mandatory vaccinations for frontline workers, from the first of April.

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A Barnsley Hospital chief says unvaccinated frontline staff will be "supported to consider their decision again," before vaccinations are made mandatory in April.

“There’s a lot of data validation been going on, and we’re now down to no more than 300 of our staff have not been doubly vaccinated.

“That number is likely to come down further with some validation, but we’re likely to end up with about 200 staff, we think who are not vaccinated.

“What we’ll be doing is supporting those staff to consider their decision again, and hopefully allay any fears they may have about the vaccine, and support them to get vaccinated by the cut off date.”

Dr Simon Enright, medical director at the trust, added: “We reckon that the overall number of our frontline staff who we don’t know the vaccination status of, I think it’s fair to say, is less than 200 now, which is probably less that five per cent.

“What we don’t know at the moment is, of the 200, whether they’ve had vaccinations elsewhere .

“Even though there are national databases, they don’t talk to each other.

“We’ve looked at doctors in particular, and out of the 534 doctors, there’s only 27 now that we don’t know their status.

“We highly suspect that a number of them have had the vaccine.”

Dr Enright added that the trust would offer ‘support, discussions’ and ‘some counselling’ to unvaccinated staff.

Steve Ned, director of workforce, said that the ‘prime means of persuasion’ will be a ‘one-to-one conversation with someone from a clinical background’.

Dr Jenkins added that Barnsley has had the highest death rate per 100,000 population in the country.

“Whilst it’s felt very difficult in Barnsley, the data suggests that’s because it has been,” he added.