Care home workforce in England falls 3,700 in week vaccination became mandatory – data suggests

More than 3,700 care home staff in England left their jobs over the week that the mandatory vaccination rule came into force, figures suggest.

The number of staff in care homes has fallen by 3,743 over seven days, during which the deadline for workers to get both jabs occurred, according to the latest figures from NHS England.

The data, which covers up to November 14, is the first to be released that includes the November 11 deadline.

According to analysis by the PA news agency, since the deadline for staff to get their first dose in mid-September there are 7,806 fewer staff working in care homes in England.

The fall is likely to be due to multiple reasons, with staff said to be experiencing pandemic burnout, and struggles with recruitment and retention as industries such as hospitality and retail prove more attractive, on top of the mandatory vaccination requirement.

Since the week ending September 19, 5,603 staff in older age care homes and 2,203 staff in younger age care homes are no longer in post.

Over the past week up to November 14, there has been a fall comprising 3,162 older age care home staff and 581 staff in younger age care homes.

It means almost half (48%) of the losses since mid-September occurred within the latest week.

The data shows at least 42,900 staff were not recorded as fully vaccinated as of last week’s deadline.

Some 92.5% of staff at older adult care homes had received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine as of November 14.

But 7.5% of staff – 34,291 people – were not recorded as fully vaccinated.

In care homes for younger adults the figure was 10% – 8,609 staff.

Of these, several thousand are understood to have self-certified as medically exempt or to have applied for formal proof.

There will be some staff whose vaccination status is unknown, while there may also be a time lag in some vaccinations being reported, NHS England said.

The local authorities with the highest proportion of older care home staff not fully vaccinated include West Northamptonshire (14.9%), Thurrock (13.8%) and Westminster (13.0%).

Overall, some 526,873 social care staff were not recorded as being doubled jabbed as of November 18.

As well as care home staff, this includes 99,901 staff in domiciliary care and 384,072 working in other settings, such as non-registered providers and those employed by local authorities.

Meanwhile, 9.6% of NHS trust healthcare workers in England – around 140,000 people – had not been reported as having received both doses of vaccine as of November 18.

Last week, the Government announced that frontline NHS and remaining social care staff working in registered providers must have received both vaccine doses by April 1.

This gives them around five months to become fully vaccinated.

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