London hospitals prepare to lose staff over compulsory Covid vaccine rule

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  • Sophie Raworth
    Sophie Raworth
    English newsreader and journalist
A nurse wearing full PPE including an FFP3 face mask on a ward for Covid patients at King’s College Hospital, in south east London. (PA Wire)
A nurse wearing full PPE including an FFP3 face mask on a ward for Covid patients at King’s College Hospital, in south east London. (PA Wire)

One of London’s biggest hospitals is preparing for the “possibility” of losing staff who refuse to be vaccinated.

Clive Kay, who is in charge of King’s College Hospital, said he would encourage staff to get jabbed but that 10% of his staff are unvaccinated.

The government has said from April, front-line NHS staff in England will need to have the Covid jab - or be moved to another role.

Mr Kay said staff were “being encouraged” to have the vaccine but “not being forced”.

He told Sophie Raworth on the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme: “There’s a possibility if they choose not to be vaccinated they could be redeployed. And if we can’t find that opportunity to redeploy them then the consequence is that they will [not have a job].”

He said staff would be given a “choice” whether to have it or not and they would be able to “talk through” the process.

Earlier in the week, a doctor at the south London hospital took Health Secretary Sajid Javid to task over the issue.

ICU consultant Steve James told the politician he already had antibodies after having Covid and said vaccines were a personal choice.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid talks to Steve James during a visit to King’s College London (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)
Health Secretary Sajid Javid talks to Steve James during a visit to King’s College London (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

Dr James said he had been inundated by support since speaking up, telling the BBC: “I’ve been written to by a group of midwives who say that, I think 41 or 45 of them in that unit will all not be vaccinated. That means the entire midwife staff from one hospital are going to leave.”

Around 90% of NHS staff are fully vaccinated according to the government.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi defended mandatory vaccines for NHS staff in England telling the BBC they had “a duty of care” to their patients.

NHS staff in Scotland and Wales do not have to have compulsory jabs while a public consultation is being carried out in Northern Ireland.

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