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Care home group will refuse to hire anyone who hasn’t had the Covid vaccine

‘It is our duty to do everything in our power to protect our residents and staff’

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Arbour Court Care Home - Credit: Barchester Healthcare

One of the UK’s biggest care home groups with homes in Greater Manchester and throughout the North West has said they won’t hire new staff who haven’t had the Covid vaccine.

Barchester Healthcare said they wouldn’t hire anyone who has refused to have a coronavirus vaccine on non-medical grounds.

Barchester runs more than 200 care homes across the country, including Marple Dale Care Centre and Arbour Court Care Home in Stockport, and others throughout the North West.

Marple Dale Care Centre – Credit: Barchester Healthcare

The group said it was adopting this policy due to the vulnerability of its residents, with Chief Executive Dr Pete Calveley telling BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours that ‘it is our duty to do everything in our power to protect our residents and staff’.

He said: “Based on previous studies of other vaccines it’s likely that this vaccine will impact transmission and experts have outlined that this is a strong possibility.

“So we are being responsible in the care of our residents and patients in taking action now, just as we took action early in the pandemic on visiting and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

“We want to be ahead of the curve in protecting and delivering the best quality care.”

Arbour Court Care Home – Credit: Barchester Healthcare

According to Barchester 87% of residents and 68% of staff have been given at least one vaccine dose, as of January 28th, with roughly 6% of staff deciding to not have a jab.

Dr Calveley said they are ‘strongly encouraging’ the current staff to have the vaccine, and the group is holding meetings and individual chats for any employees with questions.

He added: “We are constantly reviewing uptake and considering our position for existing staff.

“Overall we are delighted so many are getting vaccinated. It reflects the duty of care we all feel towards our residents and patients.”



HC-One, which runs 36 care homes and adult day care centres in Greater Manchester, and 328 homes across the UK, said 55.7% of its staff had been offered the vaccine by January 27th, with 5.72% declining to have it.

However, a spokesman added that many colleagues who previously declined the vaccine are now changing their minds after seeing others in the home who’ve had a jab.

He added: “We are confident that by continuing to provide colleagues with the factual information, reassurance and encouragement they need, we can increase the uptake rate further.

“This is our current priority and focus, and once the vaccine programme has been completed we will consider whether a formal vaccine policy is required.

“Any future policy will need to carefully balance personal freedoms, and colleague and candidate medical privacy, with the need to prioritise resident safety.

“This is a conversation we’ll seek to have with our colleagues, Trade Union partners, and peers in the sector.”

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Teen stops young girl being taken by stranger claiming to be ‘dad’s friend’ as she walked home from school

Emma’s quick thinking saved the school girl from being taken by a stranger

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A teenage girl has been praised for her quick thinking as she prevented a child being taken from a stranger.

Fifteen year old Emma Carlile was walking home from school through Wallasey Village in Wirral, Merseyside, when she noticed a man approaching a school girl and telling her that he was her ‘dad’s mate.’

Emma noticed that the girl, who is believed to be around eleven years old, looked alarmed, so decided to intervene.

Emma’s dad, Rik, told the Liverpool Echo: “She said she was walking along and she saw a ‘creepy looking man’ approach a young girl and put his arm around her, which she thought looked odd.

Emma Carlile / Facebook

“She noticed when the man approached her she looked a bit startled and then she heard the man say, ‘I’m your dad’s friend, don’t you remember me? I’ve been to your house before’.”

Rik continued: “The girl was saying ‘no, I don’t remember’ but he kept going on saying, ‘I’m your dad’s friend, I’ve met you before.’ At one point, the girl tried to get her phone out and the man said, ‘no you don’t need to ring anyone, you know who I am, I’m your dad’s mate.’”

Emma followed them around a corner and, as they approached a crossing, shouted the first name that came into her head. 

She said: “Hey Bethany! Dad will be home tonight from police training.”

The girl apparently looked at her and looked startled but relieved at the same time. As soon as Emma spoke, the man quickly walked away down towards Wallasey Village train station.

Rept0n1x / Wikimedia Commons

Rik said that Emma walked with the girl until she was home safely and informed her parents about what had just happened. 

Rik shared his daughter’s encounter on Facebook to warn people with children walking home alone from school. He wrote: “WARNING! My 15 year old daughter was walking home from Weatherhead today through Wallasey village and witnessed an older man walk up to a girl with a Harry Potter backpack and a green coat.

“The man put his arm around her claiming he was her “dads friend,” My daughter recognised that the girl looked alarmed and didn’t know the man and followed them from by the co-op to the crossing by the petrol station.

“Please make your children aware if they walk home alone.”

Emma described the man as being around 6ft tall with short grey hair and stubble. He was of large build wearing a green t-shirt and black trousers.

If you have any information, you can contact Merseyside Police on 0151 709 6010 or, alternatively, you can get in touch online here.

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Leaked documents reveal which Covid restrictions may remain after July 19th

We might have to wear our face masks for a little bit longer…

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Number 10 / Flickr & Kristoffer Trolle / Flickr

Leaked documents are claiming that the current social distancing rules and restrictions will be staying in place after the revised ‘freedom day’ on July 19th.

The memo, obtained by Politico, listed a number of restrictions that the government plans to keep in place for the foreseeable future.

According to the leaked documents, face masks may have to remain mandatory in certain settings for the long term, employers and employees will be told to decide amongst themselves as to whether they want to return to the office or work from home.

As well as that, it says some form of border control and quarantine will be needed for a significant period of time to prevent new variants entering the country.

Number 10 / Flickr

The memo also states that plastic screens – such as those currently used in hairdressers and restaurants – may actually spread Covid rather than prevent it.

Ministers are also considering bringing in new rules for businesses to keep workplaces better ventilated, the documents claim. 

Cabinet office sources have since stressed that the document was one of several including multiple options – with nothing signed off by ministers yet or anywhere near being announced.

This comes just days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed back the highly anticipated ‘freedom day’, June 21st, by just short of a month to July 19th. 

Johnson said this was a result of the new Delta variant, which makes up for 90% of new cases across the country: “I think it is sensible to wait just a little longer.

“I am confident we won’t need more than four weeks – it’s unmistakably clear that the vaccines are working – but now is the time to ease off the accelerator.

“We have the chance to save many thousands of lives by vaccinating millions more people.”

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Covid vaccine to be mandatory for care home workers

Thoughts?

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Gov.uk & Asian Development Bank / Flickr

The Covid-19 vaccine is to become mandatory for all care home staff members across the country, new reports detailed last night. 

It is believed that care staff will be given sixteen weeks to receive the jab or will face the possibilities of either being moved to a different posting or losing their jobs entirely.

The Guardian reported that the new plans are expected to be announced in the next couple of days.

Province of British Columbia / Flickr

It is expected that ministers will also be pushing ahead with compulsory vaccination for most of the 1.5 million people working in social care across the country, despite employer and staff organisations warning that it could result in workers quitting rather than getting vaccinated.

The reports also claim that the government is keen to make it mandatory for the 1.38 million people who are employed by the NHS in England to get vaccinated against Covid-19 – proposals that have already been criticised by groups representing doctors, nurses and other staff.

Workers who can prove they are medically exempt from receiving the vaccine will not be affected.

Gov.uk

The government has been widely criticised for its lack of support of care homes at the start of the pandemic; residents were heavily affected by the outbreak of Covid-19 and significant numbers, including many people with dementia, died as a result.

An investigation by Amnesty International late last year found that a series of ‘shockingly irresponsible’ Government decisions put tens of thousands of older people’s lives at risk and led to multiple violations of care home residents’ human rights.

As a result, between March 2nd and June 12th this year, 28,186 ‘excess deaths’ were recorded in care homes across England, with over 18,500 care home residents confirmed to have died with Covid-19 during this period.

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