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Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust bosses to speak with around 200 staff members yet to have covid vaccine



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Bosses at a hospital trust will speak to around 200 staff members yet to receive the covid-19 vaccine.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust (SFH), which runs King’s Mill Hospital, Newark Hospital and Mansfield Community Hospital, said it needed to address vaccine hesitancy among some healthcare workers.

It comes after the government changed healthcare rules to make it mandatory for frontline hospital workers to receive the covid vaccine, with the new guidance coming into effect from April.

A nurse gives out the covid-19 vaccine.
A nurse gives out the covid-19 vaccine.

A meeting of the trust’s board on Thursday (January 6) heard about 96% of roughly 5,000 workers had received two doses of the jab.

Around 83% had also received their booster jab, board members were told.

But the board heard around 200 people were yet to come forward for even one dose of the vaccine and will have until February 3 to get their jab if they are to be fully vaccinated ahead of April 1.

King's Mill Hospital, Sutton-in-Ashfield. Photo: Neal Hughes
King's Mill Hospital, Sutton-in-Ashfield. Photo: Neal Hughes

Rob Simcox, deputy director of people at SFH, told the board these workers were now being spoken with as part of the first phase of new plans.

He said: “Principally this requires healthcare workers to have a mandatory vaccine, meaning any individual in a healthcare position regulated by the CQC (Care Quality Commission) will require to be vaccinated.

“At the moment we’re in phase one as an organisation, which is a supportive phase of having conversations which are personally-scented with individuals we have no record of receiving a vaccine.

“We have started to establish themes and patterns, including data cleansing where records have not been truly accurate and we’re working through that.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals.
Sherwood Forest Hospitals.

“There’s also recognition there’s a fair bit of vaccine hesitancy out there, particularly around individuals of a child-bearing age who feel there is a potential impact on their fertility.

“We have engaged with everybody on their record of vaccination, written to them personally and we’re working out the detail of that.”

He said the next phase, which launches in mid-January, will explore any reasonable adjustments needed for people who still choose not to receive the vaccine.

Accident and emergency department at an NHS hospital.
Accident and emergency department at an NHS hospital.

The rule was passed in Parliament last month in a bid to ensure all frontline healthcare workers were operating in a safe capacity in hospital, with Health Secretary Sajid Javid describing it as critical to patient safety.

David Selwyn, medical director of the trust, urged people to get their vaccine and said he expected further booster doses in the future.

He said: “It is well recognised nationally and internationally that omicron produces, in the majority of people, relatively mild disease — but only if you are vaccinated.

“If you’re not vaccinated it produces very significant disease. There are still a series of comparisons with covid and flu but it’s a very different disease, and the severity of illness is extraordinary with people who get sick with covid.

“From a medical point of view, I would strongly encourage everyone to have the vaccinations as soon as you possibly can.

“We don’t know what is likely to happen going forward, but I would surmise there will be further booster doses and that’s almost certainly needed to protect the population from this disease.”

It comes as the SFH board heard the King’s Mill Hospital vaccination hub had administered about 193,000 vaccines since it first opened in December 2020.



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