Nurses and midwives call for delay in mandatory jab schemes


The lance for mandatory Covid-19 jabs for frontline health workers in England could “backfire”, the Royal College of Nursing has warned as it called for a delay in the new policy.

It said sacking valuable nursing staff during this crisis would be “an act of self-sabotage” as the NHS faces a huge staff shortage.

The warning comes as the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), which said current staff absenteeism is at its highest level since the pandemic began, the policy could have a significant impact on maternity services.

RCM said the sector has “chronic shortage” issues – with an estimated shortage of around 2,000 midwives, it added.

Pat Cullen, RCN’s general secretary and chief executive officer, says the nursing staff has led the COVID-19 vaccination program (Peter Byrne/PA) , PA Wire

Both colleges have called for an immediate delay in planning for mandatory COVID-19 jabs for frontline staff, who should be fully vaccinated by April 1 with two jabs – meaning their first vaccine is due on February 3. Was Needed.

RCNs believe that those who do not have vaccinations and cannot be re-employed are expected to lose their jobs.

RCN says the unbelievable pressure nursing staff has been under for nearly two years and patient safety has been compromised due to the nearly 40,000 registered nurse vacancies in the NHS in England.

The government’s own impact assessment has warned that up to 73,000 NHS workers could be lost in England, making the nursing workforce crisis worse.

Pat Cullen, RCN’s general secretary and CEO, said: “Nothing matters more to a nurse than to safely care for her patients. Right now, our members are telling me they can’t always do this.

“We are calling on the government to recognize this risk and delay a move that seems counterintuitive by its calculations.