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Plans to scrap the NHS jab requirement for England has been welcomed after the mandatory scheme exacerbated skills shortages across the healthcare sector.

The policy, which was announced last year, meant that front-line NHS workers and social care staff had to be fully vaccinated by the 1st of April, otherwise they would face redeployment or dismissal.

However, with Omicron spreading faster than other variants and skills shortages becoming more of an issue, Sajid Javid announced that the policy is now under consultation to revoke the Covid vaccine mandates.

Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), commented, “While there are benefits to the mandatory vaccination scheme, this requirement was exacerbating skills shortages across healthcare at a time when demand on the sector is high.”

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Bowers added, “We’ve already seen care homes reporting staffing shortages following a vaccine mandate roll out last year and expect that any such requirements in the NHS would place further pressures on an already struggling workforce.

“We’ve seen most pressure when healthcare employers have chosen to extend this mandate to those in roles that aren’t patient facing, which was never required by the government. This potentially exposed NHS clients to allegations of discrimination and caused disputes with candidates in these positions.”

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