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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

EXCLUSIVE: no action if Scots care staff refuse vaccine

This news post is over 1 year old

Sector fears some care staff won't accept jab

Care staff refusing the Covid-19 vaccine won’t be sanctioned by Scotland’s care regulator.

Care groups and home carers have sought reassurance from the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and the Scottish Government over the roll-out, seeking clarity on how to handle staff who either refuse or can’t have the vaccine for medical reasons.

It comes as some private care groups said they wouldn’t hire and would move staff to other roles if they refused to take the vaccine.  

Barchester Healthcare, which owns 200 care homes across the UK, said one in 20 of its staff are declining the jab.  

The Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS) said members are reporting that vaccine refusal is an issue in the sector, a problem fuelled by anti-vax groups targeting care providers and their staff with lies and misinformation.

However charities fear they face a legal minefield if employees refuse the jab with few avenues available in employment law to back any sanctions taken against staff.

A spokeswoman for the SSSC told TFN that while it encouraged all care workers to take the vaccine when offered, those who refused either for medical or supposed ideological grounds would not have their registration affected.

“We encourage all staff to get the vaccine, the more people who get the vaccine the greater the protection will be for all of us,” she said.

“We recognise there may be some reasons or situations when workers are not able to have the vaccine when offered. This will not affect their SSSC registration status. 

“Social care workers are among the first to be offered the vaccine and Public Health Scotland has lots of information and resources for workers to find out more about what’s involved in being vaccinated.”

Annie Gunner Logan, director of CCPS, said: "Our members are certainly reporting that vaccine refusal is an issue in the sector – and is not helped in any way by anti-vax groups targeting care providers and their staff with misinformation.

“We would welcome a strong pro-vaccination comms push, specifically for the social care sector, coming directly from government and from the regulator. We’ve asked for this.

“We’re currently supporting members to share their own approaches to promoting and encouraging uptake.”

The Scottish Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that the protection of health and social care staff should be among the first priorities for any Covid vaccination programme.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said that social care staff, including paid carers who are coming into people’s homes to deliver care, represent priority 2 of the risk groups. 

“This group will be the focus of the vaccination programme everywhere as soon as all staff and residents in care homes have been inoculated,” they said.



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about 1 year ago

I'm a frontline care worker. At the height of this pandemic I had to attend face to face and support individuals with little regard for my own health. And for 3 months without PPE. You say you wouldn't want anyone who doesn't take the vaccine to care for your loved one! As we can't care because we haven't taken a vaccine? Well that's great... I was there the whole time they needed me. And going into the unknown each day. I was on the frontline being the first to recognise the symptoms and get the help. In other words I was more frontline than the Nhs I'm not an anti vaxer.... I o believe in the right of choice. This vaccine will suppress the virus in the recipient of tge vaccine, but not stop you getting or passing it. In effect we will all be asymptomatic. Some folk will be unable to have it due to other conditions of their own . It doesn't make them a non caring person. Rather the opposite. They still put others first knowing they themselves can not get protected and can still get it ftom a vaccinated person who is not showing symptoms. There are two sides to every story .

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over 1 year ago

Whilst I acknowledge that vaccine is a choice I want to share my own view on this- I would want to know who these anti vaccine staff were (numbers in each home /place of work) I would want to say that I would not want them anywhere near vulnerable group, as they are not acting to safeguard or protect vulnerable they are being selfish. And i Simpy question the ethical and moral integrity of them as care workers. Imagine you had loved one who was being cared by someone who does not care. SO if they want execute their power of choice then we as citizen should execute the power to say how dare you put my loved one at risk stay away .TODAY I attend my mothers funeral because of professional negligence she acquired covid from staff I know first hand what it feels like being on the other side of the fence . So shame on each who make the choice to come to work in care field and simply show everything but care. The thing that missing from this is we can sue you we can discipline you , your system can do what it wants but we the public have rights .

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about 1 year ago

Refusing inoculation is stupid. The Scottish government is more focused on the rights of staff rather than the vulnerable. No one will be held accountable for the excessive deaths in care homes and now the process continues. Why not report on what carers want? We want our loved ones to be safe.

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over 1 year ago

How can care staff do their job, live health care values yet fail to be inoculated? As usual the public sector are not supporting best practice and instead support the dissenters whereas it appears the private sector are doing their best to do the right thing

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over 1 year ago

Bravo SSSC! Cowardnice exemplified. Dont expect local authorities to be any more supportive to care providers who may have to pay staff for doing nothing. The world has changed and those in authority in Scotland should make it clear it is mandatory in care and health sectors.

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Ian Davidson
over 1 year ago

My late mum was a user of social care and residential care services. If she was still alive I would not tolerate her receiving services from any non vax care staff and I would be wanting to know what other c.v. control measures were in place. Given the number of avoidable deaths in the care sector, anything less than 100% effort to stop cv killing people is in my view morally unacceptable and probably actionable in law.

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over 1 year ago

I am afraid that i think that care staff who refuse the vaccine should not be working within care homes or with the elderly in their own homes. There has been a hue and cry about deaths already why is this going to be allowed they should be transferred to jobs where there is no front line contact and if there is not one then they should be encouraged to think very carefully about their futirew in the sectpr. Maybe families will get up in ams aboutg this and I would agree with them