National Health Service (NHS) vaccination has become an issue in the UK. The Government is attempting to support NHS vaccination and NHS in fighting against Covid-19. If Covid-19 cases increase, NHS will be under more pressure to tackle the problem. However, not all NHS staff cooperate with the government vaccination plans. The Government seem to have faced a dead-end in this regard. How can the Government solve the problem?
NHS under pressure
According to the conversation, the NHS has been struggling for years with chronic underfunding and staff shortages. COVID-19 has only made matters worse. Last week, NHS bosses warned that patients’ lives are at risk. This is because NHS staff are tired of working through the pandemic. The NHS is still at least 84,000 healthcare workers short. That’s 6.5% of its workforce.
The vaccination rate in NHS
As stated in the GOV UK, the percentage of NHS staff who have received at least one dose (overall) is around 92% nationally. However, 88% of staff have received both doses. The percentage of staff receiving the first dose is above 90% in all regions. There is variation in uptake levels across NHS organisations. NHS data shows that uptake rates can vary between NHS trusts from 83% to 97% for the first dose (78% to 94% for both amounts). Uptake for first doses is above 90% in more than three-quarters of NHS trusts.
NHS Staff hesitancy about vaccination
According to the conversation, research shows healthcare workers are an essential source of information about vaccines for patients, family, friends and broader society. However, unfortunately, our recent research shows not all NHS staff feel confident being vaccinated. According to the Guardian, Too many NHS staff are still unvaccinated. Danielle Oum is the co-chair of the NHS Confederation’s BME Leadership Network. He says, “I work for one of England’s most diverse trusts – building faith in the Covid-19 vaccine is vital to save lives.” It is said in the conversation that NHS staff were among the first to be offered Covid-19 vaccines in early December 2020. That month we surveyed nearly 15,000 healthcare workers and found almost a quarter were hesitant about receiving a vaccine.
Supporting the NHS and social care
The Government is trying to aid NHS through financial support and NHS vaccination. As stated in the GOV.UK, the Government has provided health and care services with additional funding throughout the pandemic. NHS needs a particular budget to respond to the unique challenges faced. The Government is trying to have higher vaccination levels among the NHS staff to protect staff and patients.
Support or force
According to the GOV.UK, the UK Health Security Agency continuously reviews COVID-19 specific Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) and related social distancing measures. Higher levels of vaccination among staff in the NHS help protect staff and patients. Staff vaccination will reduce the need for additional specific IPC measures.
The Government has also launched a consultation on protecting vulnerable patients by making COVID-19 and flu vaccinations mandatory. Tory Government has made vaccination a necessary condition of deployment for frontline health staff in England. Government announced on 6 September that there would be an additional £5.4 billion cash injection to the NHS. The Government said its purpose is to support the Covid-19 response over the next six months.
Consequences of mandatory vaccination plan
The BBC states that it will become compulsory for frontline NHS staff in England to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. The health secretary has confirmed this news. Sajid Javid told MPs that he expected to set a deadline for the beginning of April to give 103,000 unvaccinated workers time to get both jabs. He said the move would help protect patients and the NHS as a whole. However, it could cause some staff members to leave work, which would add to healthcare staffing issues.
As stated ironically in the conversation, the last thing the health service needs are losing tens of thousands of NHS staff. This is likely to happen under a new government policy that will make Covid-19 vaccines mandatory for frontline health workers. The Government needs to consider this warning seriously.
Will all NHS staff receive Covid-19 vaccines by winter?
On the one hand, the unvaccinated NHS staff do not seem to be willing to receive vaccines. This is because they do not trust the vaccines and the authorities. On the other hand, the Government is forcing them to receive the vaccination. Placing pressure on the staff to receive vaccines does not seem to be logical. This may even result in losing staff members. Therefore, it seems unlikely that the Government can vaccinate the whole NHS staff by winter. The Government needs to persuade the staff to trust the vaccines and the authorities. Otherwise, patients and other people in society will not charge the vaccines and the officials either.