West Mid Trust Denies Plan To Make Vaccine Compulsory

Says doctors and nurses have not been told Covid jab to be mandatory

Entrance to West Middlesex Hospital. Picture: CW+ Charity

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The chief of two major London hospitals have denied reports that they told doctors, nurses and other staff that getting a Covid vaccine would be compulsory.

The Independent this Wednesday (14 April) reported that Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust had sent a letter – signed by its chief executive – which reads that getting a jab would be “mandatory” for all employees.

The Trust, which runs Chelsea and Westminster, and West Middlesex University hospitals in Isleworth, this Thursday issued a rebuttal from chief executive Lesley Watts.

“There is no intention to mandate vaccination of our staff, and no such communication has been sent to our staff,” Ms Watts said.

“We are proud that staff vaccination rates at the trust are among the highest in London, and we are strongly encouraging anyone who hasn’t had the vaccine to come forward to help keep themselves and patients safe.”

The Independent had uploaded a copy of the letter to its website. It reportedly said that a requirement to receive a Covid vaccine would be added to staff contracts, much the same as jabs for Hep B.

The newspaper also reported that the letter has been sent to other NHS bosses in London with the suggestion that they “adapt and use” it in their trusts.

The issue of making Covid vaccines compulsory for health and care workers has drawn attention throughout the country this week.

Yesterday the Department for Health and Social Care announced a public consultation into whether all social care staff working with elderly residents should be required to get a Covid jab.

The staff vaccination rate is below 80 per cent in the majority of local authority areas across England.

On 10 April, the Royal College of Nursing – a trade union for nurses – reported that 94 per cent of 20,000 nurses it surveyed had received at least a first dose.

Owen Sheppard - Local Democracy Reporter


April 15, 2021