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NHS England warns on unvaccinated staff visiting care homes

NHS England has written to health leaders stating that NHS staff visiting care homes must follow the mandatory Covid vaccination rules that come into force on 11 November.

The Independent reports that NHS trusts, GP practices and other community providers have been told they need to “carry out proactive workforce planning to ensure only staff who are vaccinated, or exempt, are ever deployed to enter a care home from 11 November.”

NHS staff who visit care homes, such as GPs and district nurses, must display an NHS Covid pass to care home staff before entry.

The letter signed by NHS England national director for primary care Ian Dodge also stated steps should be taken to ensure “service provision is not disrupted once this government regulation comes into force.”

Dodge also said it was important staff were encouraged to have their first vaccine by 16 September to allow for the eight week gap between both doses.

In a related development, Manchester City Council has urged care home staff to get their Covid vaccinations to meet the national legislation.

84 per cent of care home staff in Manchester have already been vaccinated, according to latest figures.

The remainder have just under four weeks in which to get their first jab to ensure they are able to have the second by November 11.

“We cannot lose sight of the fact that, despite the lifting of restrictions recently, the virus hasn't gone away. Nearly 2,000 people in Manchester tested positive for Covid-19 in the week ending 15 August alone – and we need to do all we can to stop it from getting into our care homes,” said Manchester City Council executive member for health and care Councillor Joanna Midgley.

"This is a national decision, but we do support the view that the vaccine is the best protection people can get from becoming seriously ill with Covid-19. It also helps to cut transmission of the virus from one person to another which is so important in our care homes,” she added.

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