HCSA is aware that there is some confusion among our members over how the vaccination as a condition of deployment (VCOD) for healthcare workers legislation should be adhered to when it comes to suppliers. Specifically, the concern is over how it applies to suppliers and subcontractors and their staff operating on NHS facilities - with the law appearing to be open to interpretation here.
HCSA is currently in conversation with NHSEI, Department of Health, ABHI and Legal Counsel in order to clarify the situation in terms of where the liability lies and what the risks are. These discussions have led us to further information and guidance as detailed below which we wanted to share in support of all members currently developing a local approach to VCOD.
DHSC also shared below further clarity that the decision for the implementation for this policy is with each NHS Trust Director of HR and as such procurement teams should be working with their respective HR Directors to seek guidance on the approach they should take.
“From 1 April 2022, the care quality commission (CQC) registered person i.e. the person responsible for the day-today management of one or more regulated activities) can only employ or otherwise engage a person for the provision of a CQC regulated activity, if the person provides evidence that they have been vaccinated with a complete course of an authorised vaccine against COVID - 19 or are exempt.
This will include front-line works, as well as non-clinical workers not directly involved in patient care but who nevertheless may have direct, face-to-face contact with patients. The requirements will apply where a regulated activity is delivered through agency workers, volunteers, locums, students, or trainees, or contracted to another provider. Compliance will be monitored and enforced by CQC.
Where the worker is not deployed for the provision of a CQC regulated activity (e.g. a tradesperson, café worker) they would not be in scope of the regulations. Where a worker is deployed for the provision of a CQC regulated activity but does not have face-to-face contact with patients or service users, they would also be out of scope of the regulations.
The requirement will fall on the NHS Trust or registered person responsible for providing the CQC regulated activity.
It is worth noting that while the legal requirements only extend to those providing CQC regulated acitivity, individual NHS Trusts and private health providers may, as a part of their own infection prevention and control policies, require proof of vaccination.”
We are continuing discussions with our members to determine the level of confusion and frustration within the system to inform further statements.
In due course we will release an additional statement that will provide a further update re these current concerns and create a clearer picture for HCSA members.