NHS Mandatory Vaccines – Vaccination as a Condition of Deployment (VCOD) – How To Get Your Practice Ready For April 2022

by | Dec 7, 2021 | Blog

The Department for Health social care announced on the 9th November 2021 that they would be introducing so called mandatory vaccines for all front line NHS workers. The Government release made the main news headlines eg BBC, Sky as well as of course from Steven on our settlement agreement site.

Shortly after the new release, all relevant people in the NHS received this letter setting out the general understanding of what the new regulations were going to do.

On the 6th December 2021, the NHS released much more comprehensive guidance and it is worth reading for any CQC Regulated Provider looking at what they are now to do with staff.

In short, the new law will ensure that a CQC registered person can only employ or otherwise engage a person in respect of a CQC regulated activity, if the person provides evidence that they have been vaccinated with a complete course of an authorised vaccine against COVID- 19.

The new regulations sit alongside the mandatory vaccinations for care home staff.

The regulations will apply equally across the public (NHS) and independent health sector, and will require workers aged 18 and over, who have direct, face to face contact with service users to provide evidence that they have received a complete course of a Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved COVID-19 vaccine, subject to limited exceptions, by no later than 1 April 2021.

In general terms, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Review and assess which roles are likely to fall within the scope of the new regulations – i.e. which are CQC regulated activities and which aren’t.
  2. Review and update your privacy notices regarding the holding of sensitive personal data relating to health and vaccination status.
  3. Discuss vaccine hesitancy with staff and help encourage uptake of vaccinations.
  4. Meet with staff to discuss other options, such as potential for redeployment.
  5. If there are no such roles, the law will permit a fair dismissal (on notice but without any additional pay such as redundancy) as a ‘some other substantive reason (SOSR)’ dismissal.

There’s quite a bit to get right (and a things can go wrong). We’re already seeing resistance – those that have made a decision not to be jabbed aren’t likely to change their mind even if their job depends on it – and many questions will be asked by employees as to whether they are truly in scope, whether they are doing regulated activities, and whether they can be reallocated to another role.

If you’re a GP practice or other CQC provider looking for strong legal support and advice on this then get in touch. We can happily work alongside your internal or external HR advisors to work through the VCOD rules to ensure you get it right and avoid and minimise any future claims.

Speak with Steven today – contact me now.

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