Last reviewed 26 October 2021

Following the Government’s decision that Covid-19 vaccination is required of people entering a Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered adult care home unless exempt, the consultation on whether such vaccination as a condition of deployment (VCOD) should be extended to other health and care settings for Covid-19 and flu came to an end on 22 October.

This second consultation proposed that, if introduced, requirements would apply to frontline health and care workers with face-to face contact with patients and clients though the delivery of services as part of a CQC regulated activity.

Only workers who are vaccinated would be deployed, or those with a legitimate medical exemption, to deliver those services.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said he is “leaning towards” making these vaccines compulsory for NHS workers. He told Sky News: “If they haven’t got vaccinated by now then there is an issue about patient safety and that’s something the Government will take very seriously.”

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is still seeking views on whether it should extend the provision of free personal protective equipment (PPE) to the health and care sector beyond 31 March 2022.

The Government created a parallel PPE supply chain in the UK to meet challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and to ensure PPE was delivered to the frontline.

The DHSC centralised the procurement of PPE across health and care, and provided free access to central stocks to NHS trusts and adult social care providers, as well as primary care and other healthcare providers.

The DHSC said it is committed to providing this central, free provision of Covid-19 PPE until 31 March 2022, but the consultation will inform the Government’s decision about whether to extend central provision beyond this date.

This consultation on extending free PPE closes on 31 October 2021 and is available here.

The closed consultation on making vaccination a condition of deployment in the health and wider social care sector is available here.