Guidance outlining new requirements mandating the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of deployment for all healthcare workers was issued by NHS England and NHS Improvement on 6 December 2021.
This guidance is the first in a series of documents and resources which are intended to support employing organisations to prepare and plan for when new regulations are introduced from 1 April 2022. The second guidance document, which includes a national vaccine policy, a redeployment framework, and letter templates is anticipated early in 2022.
Employers will need to familiarise themselves with requirements at the earliest opportunity. A link to the letter which was issued to all NHS organisations and guidance can be found via the NHS England and NHS Improvement website:
Guidance provides clarity and confirmation on the following:
- the scope of the regulations
- which positions are exempt
- expectations and resources to help increase vaccination uptake among groups where uptake is lower
- having supportive conversations with staff
- engagement with local trade unions.
Further resources to help increase vaccination uptake can be found on the NHS England and NHS Improvement website.
Published guidance is iterative and will be reviewed and updated in accordance with government advice and feedback from stakeholders, employer reference groups and the Social Partnership Forum.
We will continue to work closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement to ensure guidance is fit for purpose and meets the needs of employers. As soon as we have more information about dates for further engagement, we’ll communicate this through our website.