Statement on mandatory vaccination of NHS staff
1st Feb 2022
The Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists welcomes the news that DHSC has removed covid vaccine as a condition of deployment in England but highlights the enormous damage that has been done in pursuit of the flawed and ill-conceived policy.
GHP has always supported encouragement and not compulsion of vaccination. The NHS led vaccination programme has offered all relevant staff ample opportunity to have their vaccine and where staff have not taken this opportunity up, the reasons for them making those decisions need exploring and the staff need supported to address these rather than being pressured.
The threat of dismissal or redeployment of these staff placed enormous and unacceptable pressures on individuals, managers, services and employers. Damage has been done to relationships, people have been vaccinated when they didn’t want to be and people have left the NHS unnecessarily. All of this was entirely predictable and yet again this government failed to properly plan and execute a policy, resulting in the latest of many u-turns.
The decade long underinvestment in workforce means that the NHS is less able to absorb the damage that this episode has caused, and it should be noted that the chaos of the last few weeks will have impacted on patient care.
Our members now move on with the essential work our members undertake in delivering high quality patient care in the context of the continuing pandemic and recovery programmes.
Professor Roisin O’Hare (President) and Mr Ewan Maule (Vice President)
Download this statement.