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Jab backdown the right thing to do, but the damage has already been done, says UNISON

These ill-thought-out rules have worsened the staffing crisis hampering the NHS and social care and caused significant upset.

Commenting on the announcement today (Monday) that the government is to scrap the rules for mandatory vaccination in health and care in England, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said:

“This was the right thing to do. But it shouldn’t have taken the government so long to realise the huge mistake it was making.

“Ministers were repeatedly warned the jab rules would cause staffing chaos for the NHS and the care sector but chose not to listen. Unfortunately, much of the damage has already been done.

“Thousands of care workers have been forced from jobs they love, leaving employers struggling. Many staff will also have quit the NHS ahead of this week’s deadline.

“These ill-thought-out rules have worsened the staffing crisis hampering the NHS and social care and caused significant upset.

“Huge amounts of time and resources, which employers could have spent persuading staff to be vaccinated and on patient care, have been wasted.

“Playing politics with the vaccine risks undermining confidence. It will now be harder for employers to persuade staff to get jabbed and the unvaccinated public will be less likely to come forward.”

We’re not out of the woods yet. There is a consultation exercise and so we can’t be sure this will be shelved permanently. Plymouth in UNISON will continue to support members who may have already been spoken to about this or where employers may have local rules.

UPDATE

Government to revoke mandatory COVID vaccine laws in England
The government has announced that it intends to proceed with bringing forward regulations to revoke vaccination as a condition of deployment.

The government received over 90,000 responses to its consultation with 90% of respondents supporting the withdrawal of the mandatory vaccine policy.

The new regulations need to be in place by 13 March.