Eastbourne care homes voice their support for staff vaccination rule

Three care homes in Eastbourne have voiced their support for a rule that meant all frontline staff had to be fully-vaccinated by November 11.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 10:33 am
Updated Friday, 19th November 2021, 10:29 am

Three care homes in Eastbourne have voiced their support for a rule that meant all frontline staff had to be fully-vaccinated by November 11.

A spokesperson from HC-One, which runs Elstree Court Care Home in Meads Road and Coppice Court Care Home in Willingdon Road, said they supported the rule.

Elstree Court Care Home in Meads Road, Eastbourne. Picture from Google Street Maps SUS-211118-102801001

They said, “Our purpose is to be The Kind Care Company, supporting our residents to lead their best life with care from our experienced and passionate colleagues.

“Our homes need to be safe and open to visiting so that residents and their families can come together as they wish.

“We can’t miss any opportunity to make this happen, which is why we announced in July that the covid-19 vaccine would be a condition of employment for all HC-One employees across the nations.

“This was the responsible step for us to take to protect the people we care for, as well as our colleagues, as the evidence clearly shows that vaccination cuts transmission and substantially reduces the risk of hospitalisation.”

According to NHS England data, 5.1 per cent of NHS staff in the South East were unvaccinated as of October 31.

The spokesperson said, “The introduction of the Government’s legislation in England on November 22 means that HC-One now also has a legal duty to ensure that all colleagues in our homes across England are either fully vaccinated or have a valid medical exemption in line with the Government’s guidance.”

HC-One said they have sported staff who have chosen to be vaccinated and are pleased with the high percentage of those who have done so.

The spokesperson added, “Since the mandate was announced, we have made every effort to explain the consequences to colleagues who choose not to be vaccinated, and who do not have a valid medical exemption.

“We have engaged at length, including on a one-to-one basis, with colleagues and their representatives to understand their individual reasons for not receiving the vaccine.”

The spokesperson said they expect to lose a small proportion of staff who have chosen to remain unvaccinated but believe it to be less than 500 out of their 20,000 workers.

They said, “Our HR and resourcing teams have been working hard with homes over recent months to anticipate any vacancies as a result of this requirement, so that we can ensure our homes continue to be adequately staffed, enabling us to provide continuity of care to residents.”

Nathan Matthews, who is a registered manager at Grange House in Grange Road, said he also supports the rule.

He said, “The general sensus is that it is the right thing to keep our residents safe.”

The registered manager said he felt they were given enough time to make arrangements in line with the rule but believes there is a lack of staff in the industry anyway.

Mr Matthews said, “I think there is generally a shortage of people who want to work in care homes.

“People are searching for alternative routes to go down.”

Overall, Mr Matthews said he believes the rule was the ‘right reaction’.

He said, “I think that this is the right reaction for the current climate we are in.

“It is about keeping residents safe and this is what we can do.”