Tuesday 18 January 2022
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Nottingham

200 staff yet to receive a vaccine at a Nottinghamshire hospital

Bosses at a Nottinghamshire hospital trust will begin having conversations with around 200 staff members yet to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust (SFH), which runs King’s Mill, Newark and Mansfield Community Hospitals, says it needs to address vaccine hesitancy among some healthcare workers.

It comes after the Government changed healthcare rules to make it mandatory for frontline hospital workers to receive the Covid vaccine, with the new guidance coming into effect from April.

A meeting of the trust’s board on Thursday (January 6) heard about 96 per cent of roughly 5,000 workers have received two doses of the jab.

Around 83 per cent have also received their booster jab, board members were told.

But the board heard about 200 people are yet to come forward for even one dose of the vaccine and will have until February 3 to get their jab if they are to be fully vaccinated ahead of April 1.

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At present, being ‘fully vaccinated’ means having two doses of the jab but this is expected to change in the future in light of the booster roll-out and the Omicron variant.

Rob Simcox, deputy director of people at SFH, told the board these workers are now being spoken with as part of the first phase of new plans.

He said: “Principally this requires healthcare workers to have a mandatory vaccine, meaning any individual in a healthcare position regulated by the CQC  (Care Quality Commission) will require to be vaccinated.

“At the moment we’re in phase one as an organisation, which is a supportive phase of having conversations which are personally-scented with individuals we have no record of receiving a vaccine.

“We have started to establish themes and patterns, including data cleansing where records have not been truly accurate and we’re working through that.

“There’s also recognition there’s a fair bit of vaccine hesitancy out there, particularly around individuals of a child-bearing age who feel there is a potential impact on their fertility.

“We have engaged with everybody on their record of vaccination, written to them personally and we’re working out the detail of that.”

He said the next phase, which launches in mid-January, will explore any “reasonable adjustments” needed for people who still choose not to receive the vaccine.

The rule was passed in Parliament last month in a bid to ensure all frontline healthcare workers are operating in a safe capacity in hospital, with Health Secretary Sajid Javid describing it as “critical to patient safety”.

David Selwyn, medical director of the trust, urged people to get their vaccine and said he expects further booster doses in the future.

He said: “It is well-recognised nationally and internationally that Omicron produces, in the majority of people, relatively mild disease – but only if you are vaccinated.

“If you’re not vaccinated it produces very significant disease. There are still a series of comparisons with Covid and flu but it’s a very different disease, and the severity of illness is extraordinary with people who get sick with Covid.

“From a medical point of view, I would strongly encourage everyone to have the vaccinations as soon as you possibly can.

“We don’t know what is likely to happen going forward, but I would surmise there will be further booster doses and that’s almost certainly needed to protect the population from this disease.”

It comes as the SFH board heard King’s Mill Hospital’s vaccination hub has administered about 193,000 vaccines since it first opened in December 2020.

 

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