Volunteers may be required in staffing shortfall at English care homes

‘Alarming’ drop in workers signing up, with many put off by requirement to be fully vaccinated against Covid by 11 November

An army of volunteers could be needed this winter to tackle rising staff shortages in care homes fuelled by the looming requirement for all care home workers to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus, providers have said.

As the health secretary, Sajid Javid, urged care workers to book their jabs in time to meet the 11 November deadline for all staff in registered care homes in England to be fully vaccinated, the Independent Care Group said operators could be forced to hand back contracts to councils or close care homes and relocate residents because of a staffing crisis, exacerbated by ongoing vaccine hesitancy among a minority of staff. It is leading calls for retired nurses, doctors, carers, to be trained and DBS-checked to fill vacancies in case of a feared “winter meltdown” in staff numbers.

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