Thousands of unvaccinated nurses and healthcare assistants who work in care homes are set to flood the NHS, say bosses, as a ban on unjabbed staff in social care comes into effect.
Up to 60,000 care home workers across England – about ten per cent of the sector's workforce – have still not been double-vaccinated against Covid, according to official figures.
But on Thursday, they will be forced to leave their jobs when a new law banning the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated from working in care homes kicks in.
The hard-line move is part of the Government's drive to ensure elderly residents, who can still develop severe Covid illness despite being double-vaccinated, are protected.
Ministers insist the law is necessary, and point out that care home staff have had months of warning.
But care home bosses say the move will lead to staff simply swapping one workplace where they care for the vulnerable elderly – care homes; for another – hospitals.
Up to 60,000 care home workers across England – about ten per cent of the sector's workforce – have still not been double-vaccinated against Covid, according to official figures (stock image)
That is because the Government has agreed to delay the imposition of the same 'no jabs, no job' rule on NHS workers until the spring. Care bosses are also warning the new law risks snarling up hospitals with 'bed blockers' – patients well enough to be discharged but not strong enough to live on their own – as staffing shortages will force them to close homes to new residents. Last night, Dr Charles Armitage, director of the National Care Force, which helps social care providers fill staff gaps with health workers and volunteers, said: 'Unvaccinated staff are going to leave and work in retail and hospitality, or go to the NHS because they don't need to have vaccinations to work there – which is robbing Peter to pay Paul.
'Then you suddenly get this influx of workers into the NHS who are