The aim of this consultation from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is to seek views on whether or not the government should extend the existing statutory requirement for those working or volunteering in a care home to be vaccinated against coronavirus to other health and care settings. It also covers whether to introduce a statutory requirement to be vaccinated against flu.
The consultation sets out that ‘a requirement to be vaccinated would apply to all those that are deployed to undertake direct treatment or personal care as part of a Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated activity’. It also seeks views on whether professionals and volunteers who do not directly undertake treatment or personal care should be included in the scope of the proposed policy.
There is also a question on whether some CQC regulated activities provided from residential settings should be subject to the proposed requirement. These activities would include, for example, residential recovery services for drugs and alcohol and registered extra care and supported living services.
The NHF has received clarification that the terms ‘registered extra care and supported living’ just refer to the CQC registered services that are operating in extra-care and supported living settings. It is only these activities and those deployed to undertake a regulated activity, that are in scope of the proposed policy.
There is a wider question in the consultation seeking views on whether any specific settings (which could include extra care or other supported housing) should follow the same approach on vaccinations as registered care homes. DHSC is seeking views on this question but it goes beyond what is the narrower proposed policy set out in the consultation document.
We will be responding to this consultation and would like to hear your thoughts. Please share with us your response on both the principle of this proposal and what needs to be in place to support implementation. The closing date for responses back to DHSC is 22 October. Please send us any feedback by 1 October at the latest.
If you have any questions or concerns then please let us know using the details below.