To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Statement of impact – The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 updated 19 July 2021 and the estimated of £100 million for making vaccination a condition of deployment in care homes, how that cost will be funded; and what (a) legal and (b) employment expertise will be made available to care home providers to implement that policy.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
8 September 2021
The £100 million estimate set out in the Impact Statement refers to the midpoint of the potential cost of the policy; the number of staff leaving care homes and the impact on employers could be lower than this estimate. Given this uncertainty, we are continuing to monitor the uptake rate and the potential impact of the regulations on the ability of care homes to continue delivering the best quality care.
The Government published operational guidance on 4 August 2021 to support providers to implement the policy. The Guidance provides information on good employment practice for care homes, including on the importance of following a fair procedure before dismissing.
We are working with Skills for Care to ensure that resources such as guidance and best practice are available to support providers and local authorities with capacity and workforce planning, recruitment and well-being.
To support providers with the implementation of the policy, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) have published high-level advice on vaccination as a condition of deployment. ACAS are developing more detailed guidance to further support and share good practice across the sector.
The full impact assessment on making COVID-19 vaccination a condition of deployment in care homes will be published as soon as possible.
The Department has worked closely with stakeholders throughout the development of this policy and will continue to do so throughout its implementation.