COVID vaccinations are set to become compulsory for all care home staff in England, according to new reports.
People who are working in care homes will be required to get the coronavirus jab within 16 weeks.
Those who turn down the vaccine may not be permitted to work in these settings and could risk being moved to a different department or losing their role entirely.
The government – which is expected to officially announce the introduction of compulsory jabs later this week – is also considering mandatory vaccines for wider NHS staff, according to The Guardian.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is preparing to launch consultations on making both COVID and flu vaccines a requirement across health care sector employees.
A DHSC spokeswoman told the BBC: “Vaccines are our way out of this pandemic and have already saved thousands of lives – with millions of health and care staff vaccinated.
“Our priority is to make sure people in care homes are protected, and we launched the consultation to get views on whether and how the government might take forward a new requirement for adult care home providers, looking after older people, to only deploy staff who have had a COVID-19 vaccination or have an appropriate exemption.”
However, one NHS boss issued a warning via The Guardian that making vaccines compulsory will create “direct confrontation”.
“The government hasn’t thought through the consequences of this,” they added.
“Hospital trusts could end up having to suspend or even dismiss members of staff who continue to refuse to be vaccinated against COVID in defiance of a policy requiring them to get jabbed.”
Over 41 million people in the UK have received their first COVID jab so far, whilst more than 30 million have received a second dose.
A more infectious ‘Delta’ variant has however caused cases to rise sharply once again – with Prime Minister Boris Johnson delaying the lifting of the lockdown by four weeks to allow more people to be vaccinated in the “race against the virus”.
The PM said the decision was made so the NHS had extra time to “give crucial jabs into the arms [of those] who need them.”
“I think it’s sensible to wait just a little longer,” he added.
“Now is the time to ease off the accelerator. By being cautious now we have the chance to save lives.”
Featured image: Shutterstock
Body found at Bolton restaurant and suspected cannabis farm days after fire
A body has been found at the site of a fire in Bolton, days after a blaze ripped through a restaurant.
It’s believed that the fire started on the first floor of the property, with early inquiries suggesting it may have been used as a cannabis farm.
Human remains were found at the premises on Bolton Road in Farnworth.
A criminal investigation is now underway and Greater Manchester Police are appealing for information and footage relating to the incident.
Emergency services had first been called to the area at around 1pm on Monday 27 November, to reports of a fire.
Earlier today, Saturday 2 December, a body was found during a search of the restaurant building, days after the fire.
Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Naismith of GMP Major Incident Team said: “Work is ongoing to identify the deceased and we are committed to ensuring the potential family members are fully supported and informed of updates in this investigation.
“The loss of life is a tragedy and I understand the upset this news will cause in the local community. I can assure you on behalf of the investigation team that we are determined to get to the bottom of what has occurred and establish the circumstances surrounding the fire.
“I can confirm this fire is being treated as suspicious and if there is any criminal responsibility, it will be brought to light and dealt with appropriately. We are particularly interested to hear from anyone who knows how this building was being used in the lead up to 27 November 2023.
“I would also like to appeal to anyone with information about the fire itself – including if you have any footage (such as CCTV, mobile or dashcam) – to contact GMP’s Major Incident Team.”
You can make a report by calling 0161 856 1995 quoting log number 1485 of 27/11/2023 or via the reporting function on GMP’s website: www.gmp.police.uk
Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Tameside police officers hailed ‘absolute heroes’ after saving the life of a seven-year-old girl
Two Tameside police officers have been hailed as “absolute heroes” after saving the life of a seven-year-old little girl.
It comes after emergency services were called to an address in the Greater Manchester borough of Tameside earlier this week (29 November), and found a young girl who was struggling to breath and coughing up blood after choking on a sweet.
Police Constables Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell, from Greater Manchester Police‘s (GMP) Tameside division, were first on the scene.
To the huge relief of the girl’s parents, who were said to be “understandably distressed” and concerned for her welfare, PC Kincaid jumped straight into action and was able to utilise his first aid training to full effect by going on to successfully dislodge the sweet from the youngster’s throat, and then helping to calm her down before the paramedics arrived.
Whilst PC Kincaid looked after the little girl, PC Blundell did “everything he could” to help the parents remain calm.
Paramedics then took over once they arrived, and the young girl was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Reflecting on the incident, and hailing his officers “absolute heroes”, Superintendent Mike Walsh, from GMP’s Tameside district, said: “PCs Aaron Kincaid and James Blundell acted without hesitation during the incident, and took control of the situation that they were faced with.
“They deserve every credit for staying calm under extreme pressure and for working together as a team and utilising their training to lifesaving effect, and I’m sure the girl’s parents and family will consider them to be absolute heroes.”
“We’re both glad that we were in the right place at the right time,” PC Kincaid added.
“I have a daughter the same age as the little girl who needed our help, and I cannot tell you how much of a relief it was when she started breathing normally and said she was okay after I had managed to dislodge the sweet.