King’s College Hospital, where a doctor challenged the Health Secretary over the mandatory NHS jabs, is set to lose 1,000 staff when the new rule comes into force. The head of the hospital, Dr Clive Kay, said he accepted he was “worried” as around 10% of approximately 14,000 workers at the hospital are yet to receive the first dose.
Dr Kay said his job was to ‘encourage staff to get vaccinated’ after Health Secretary Sajid Javid was questioned by Steve James, a consultant anaesthetist on the ICU ward, during a visit to the hospital. The consultant had told the Health Secretary he disagreed with the Government’s decision to make vaccinations mandatory for NHS hospital workers, saying the science was not strong enough to support the move.
Dr Kay has said that it was a “moot point” whether or not he thinks the NHS jabs measure is fair, as it is now a matter of law. In December, MPs approved mandatory vaccinations for NHS and social care staff by April this year.
Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Morning show, Dr Kay said: “The law is now such that individuals who are not vaccinated if they can’t be redeployed, will not be able to work in hospitals if they deal with patients.
“We’re having conversations with staff, their line managers are having conversations, we have a helpline where colleagues seek clarification and help.”
More than 1,000 members of staff could be lost in an ‘extreme’ scenario unless NHS jabs uptake within the workforce improves, Dr Kay said. Asked whether he was worried, Dr Kay said: “Yes, of course. I think my job is to worry, my job is to worry about everything in relation to whether or not we have enough staff here to provide care for patients and will continue to do so, and we will provide care for patients but ultimately if individuals choose not to (it’s) their choice,” he said.
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