Temporary medical exemptions for Covid-19 jab for people working in care homes

21 September 2021

Director of Adult Social Care Delivery Claire Armstrong has written to local authorities, directors of adult social services, care home providers, care home managers and agencies to say people will be able to self-certify that they meet the medical exemption criteria for Covid-19 vaccination, on a temporary basis.

This follows the approval in Parliament on 22 July 2021 to make Covid-19 vaccination a condition of deployment for staff working in Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated care homes in England, unless they have a medical exemption.

A 16-week grace period was put in place to ensure staff who have not been vaccinated could take up the vaccine before the regulations come into force on 11 November 2021.

People working or volunteering in care homes who have a medical reason foreign unable to have the vaccine will be able to self-certify that they meet the medical exemption criteria on a temporary basis. The letter gives examples of who may be exempt.

Care home workers who are exempt will need to sign a self-certification form for people with medical exemptions or the self-certification form for people vaccinated abroad and show this to their employer as proof of their temporary exemption status.

The letter confirmed that, as of 9 September, 90.4% of care home workers had a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, with 82.2% of care home staff fully vaccinated.

The measure is a temporary one, introduced prior to the launch of the new NHS COVID Pass system which is soon to go live. Once this is launched, care home workers will need to apply for a formal medical exemption.

The temporary self-certification will expire 12 weeks after the NHS COVID Pass system is launched.

The letter advising of this decision is available here.