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'No jab, no job' policy at Welshpool care home

Created on 18/02/2021 @ 12:44

The owners of a Welshpool care home have said they will not be hiring new employees who have refused to have the Covid-19 vaccine on non-medical grounds.

Barchester Healthcare, which owns the Rhallt and over 200 care homes across the UK, is one of a growing number of companies planning for the post pandemic era by expecting employees to be vaccinated.

The company said it was adopting the new policy because of the vulnerability of its residents and has also said that it will consider re-assigning current staff that refuse on non-medical grounds to positions where they are not in contact with residents.

Barchester said the recent option has been communicated to staff and no decision has been made. It comes as figures released nationally show a growing reluctance by some to have the vaccine.

A Barchester spokesperson was quoted in other UK media outlets today as saying: “Our long-term ambition is that all patient and resident-facing staff will have the Covid-19 vaccine in order to protect both themselves and the vulnerable residents and patients in our care, and we have very recently communicated to our teams that one option under consideration is that staff who refuse the vaccine on non-medical grounds will, by reason of their own decision, make themselves unavailable for work.

“This is part of an ongoing dialogue we are having, we are constantly reviewing this as more information is available, and are very aware of concerns around possible discrimination which is in no way our intention.

“We are doing everything possible to ensure fairness whilst also delivering on our duty to protect our residents, patients and staff.”

On its web site, Barchester stated this week: “With regard to our staff, we are doing all we can to reassure and encourage those who are a little more reticent to have the vaccination, and we are also ensuring that all new staff must have the vaccination (if they medically can) before starting work looking after our vulnerable residents and patients who are in our care.

“We have been working hard to ensure that all of our staff are aware of the facts around the vaccination, and as we have previously said we have done a lot of communication to understand and alleviate any concerns.”

The Rhallt was hit hard by Welshpool’s first Covid-19 wave last year which sadly resulted in a number of deaths.

In response to the issue on Radio 2 today, Silkie Carlo, from Big Brother Watch, described such a move as “alarming” and said it was “coercive and discriminatory”.


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