Mandatory vaccination threatens our Healthcare – take action now – write to your MP!

Despite opposition by UNISON, jointly alongside other health trades unions, the Government has introduced a mandatory vaccination requirement for staff deployed to Care Quality Control (CQC) regulated activity, or who are deployed in areas where CQC regulated activity takes place and contact with patients and service users is not avoidable. These regulations are now law, and will come into effect on 1st April 2022.

Whilst the joint NHS Trades Unions strongly support and encourage take up of the vaccine, we oppose the introduction of this requirement strongly, and believe that instead the Government should focus on encouraging further vaccine take-up and alternative mitigation methods to reduce the risk of transmission where necessary, in order to protect jobs and patient care.

Even if you are not directly affected by these proposals, if you have been vaccinated, the loss of trained colleagues that could follow will seriously worsen staff shortages and make your job of holding together the service much harder at a critical time. This is just one more difficulty created by years of underfunding the service and underpaying health care staff by this Government. .

The NHS trades unions, as well as the TUC, have also called on the Government to delay the introduction of the vaccination requirement. We need to press our local MPs to raise this as a matter or urgency with the Government. We enclose a proposed wording which you, as a member , can use or adapt, to make this point to your MP. Whatever view your MP has on this, they will need to consider this if they get enough contact on this matter. A list of MP’s covering the area where the Trust operates is attached below. Please note you must write to the MP where you live, rather than where you work. If your MP is not listed below you live outside East Lancashire, still write as this is a national issue, and contact your Branch or google for details. Email is usually the best way to contact.

Further to this, now that legislation has been passed and the regulations are due to come into effect, we are supporting our members and negotiating with employers to ensure all reasonable support and flexibility is put in place to protect jobs and support staff and services as the requirement is introduced.

If you have concerns about the incoming regulations, including whether or not your role should be within scope, if an exemption is being properly recognised, or if you are not receiving the appropriate support, please speak to your union for professional advice based on your circumstances and the law as it stands.

If you have received a course of COVID vaccine, we would also encourage you to check that your vaccination status is shown correctly on your NHS record (eg through the NHS app), and if necessary to liaise with your employer to ensure that their records on your vaccination status are correct.

Find your MP online: members.partliament.uk/findyourmp

Below, you will find a sample letter to copy and send to your MP

Dear                              MP,

DELAY MANDATORY VACCINATION IN OUR NHS – WE CANT AFFORD TO LOSE COLLEAGUES AND PLACE PATIENT CARE AT RISK.

As a worker employed in our health service, I make a strong appeal that you use your influence with government to delay or rescind the mandatory vaccination in our NHS and associated employers. My experience, and that of my colleagues, through the pandemic is  that we have been stretched to breaking to cope with the high levels of COVID patients, and the trauma of seeing so many people seriously ill and sadly dying. I have to add, there is no respite in sight. The very focus of health workers on a national emergency has meant a massive backlog of other health issues has built up and will take months or years to restore our work load to anything like normal.

We were clapped as heroes, and have had to work in the most difficult of circumstances over many months without having the vaccination which most of us have welcomed when it came through. Those of our colleagues who have, thus far, concerns about the vaccine, work rigorously to health procedures every day and should be treated with respect not cast out and dismissed, at a time when the public needs us most.

The stark reality is that if people who have been trained, at great cost to the taxpayer, and have built up invaluable experience are so removed from our health service, patient care will suffer far more than if these changes proceed. There is a serious shortage of staff already, constantly making the job harder, and this will make things worse as we lose valued colleagues.

Please use every effort to help us at this critical moment.  I look forward to your early and urgent reply.

 

Yours sincerely,