A government adviser has said that NHS staff who refuse the covid jab, should be barred from seeing patients. Writing in the British Medical Journal, Michael Parker, professor of bioethics at the University of Oxford, said vaccination should be mandatory because refuseniks pose a risk to patients.
Parker is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). He said that staff who decline the jab should be removed from patient-facing roles immediately. In his article for the British Medical Journal Professor Parker said:
“Patient safety is ultimately the responsibility of health and social care institutions. With regard to employment practice, these institutions have a duty to employ only workers whose presence would not place patients at unnecessary risk. Frontline care roles should not be offered to people unwilling to be vaccinated against high-risk infections.”
The UK government has yet to make vaccination mandatory for NHS staff. However, care home workers will need to prove that they have been jabbed from November to continue working in homes. It is compulsory for all healthcare workers in Italy, France and Spain.
The Telegraph claimed this morning that uptake is high in the NHS, with 90 per cent of staff opting to have the jab. There is some opposition to it however. The Royal College of Nursing has come out against mandatory vaccines.
Helen Bedford, of the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health told The Telegraph:
“It is not necessary, acceptable, or the most effective way to achieve high uptake, and it raises serious ethical issues about freedom of choice.”