'Pressures this winter' as one in four social care workers in Hackney remain unvaccinated

Someone in blue PPE holding Covid-19 vaccine

One in four Hackney social care workers are unvaccinated which could mean 'lost staff' and pressure on the health sector - Credit: PA

One in four of Hackney’s social care workers are still unvaccinated against Covid, putting the sector at risk of being understaffed.

This “will likely contribute to pressures during winter” as the uptake of the vaccine among social care workers is lower in Hackney than in other London authorities, the Health Scrutiny Commission was told on Wednesday, November 17.

Hackney has 600 social care workers who provide practical support for older people, children and families or people with disabilities. 

The revelation follows this month’s announcement that all frontline NHS staff will need to be vaccinated by April.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said on November 9: "We have consulted closely with the sector and will introduce new regulations to ensure people working in healthcare are vaccinated from next spring.

"I want thank everyone who works in health and social care for the amazing work they do. If you haven’t come forward for your jab yet, please do so. We are determined to support you in this process."

But Hackney Cllr Peter Snell raised his “concern about addressing both staffing needs and also ensuring we don’t lose too many staff through non-vaccination”.

Helen Woodland, Group Director for Adults, Health & Integration, said: “Our rates across the social care workforce in general, including our own staff, are 75 per cent and we know we want to get them much higher than that.”

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She added that there were plans in place to “overcome whatever hesitancy and barriers that they have in place”

She stated, therefore “we’re relatively confident that we will be able to achieve quite high levels of vaccination across the social care workforce by the spring deadline.”

94pc of Hackney’s care home workers are now vaccinated after it was made compulsory for the sector.

As of last Saturday, 113,497 Hackney residents over the age of 12 remain unvaccinated against Covid-19.

Covid cases have increased in Hackney by 15pc from 234 per 100,000 people to 273, as of November 17.