COVID-19: Nurse says he might quit NHS if vaccines are made compulsory for health workers

·2-min read

A nurse has told Sky News he might quit the NHS if COVID-19 vaccines are made compulsory for health workers.

Neil Wyld, who has served the NHS for 30 years - 20 of those as a nurse, has refused to get the COVID jab because he thinks it is unsafe.

It comes as Health Secretary Sajid Javid launched a six-week consultation on whether coronavirus vaccinations will become a condition of deployment for frontline workers in health and care settings.

Live COVID updates from the UK and around the world

"It's not an easy job and we are often very understaffed and in very difficult situations," Neil told Sky News' health correspondent Ashish Joshi.

"I find it quite disrespectful really. I think it's important that outside voices are listened to and that those in charge are not overstating what they know and what they don't know."

Some 22% of NHS staff remain unvaccinated in areas with the lowest vaccine takeup, while nationally that figure is 12%.

Tens of thousands of healthcare workers are at risk of losing their jobs, which would exacerbate the already crippling NHS staffing crisis.

Neil added: "It just seems to have changed the atmosphere at work and it's certainly made me question whether I want to continue being a nurse."

Mr Javid said a move to make vaccines compulsory would ensure patient safety and reduce the NHS backlog.

Speaking during a visit to Moorfields Eye Hospital, the health secretary said: "It's right that we do everything we can to protect the most vulnerable from this virus, that is why we have already insisted that those staff that work in care homes get vaccinated and I think people know why that's so important.

"The reason we have launched this consultation today for the health sector, for the NHS, is because obviously hospitals are full of vulnerable people and I think it's our duty to make sure that we are considering this.

"We haven't made a decision but we do want to listen to what people have to say because I think it is important that we show that patient safety will always be a priority."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting