College supports calls for delay to mandatory vaccination deadline for NHS staff

 Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said the following.

“The College has always been opposed to mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations as a term of employment. Our view is that informed and educated choice about health interventions would be more beneficial long-term than mandation, which risks leading to resentment and mistrust.

“We are also concerned about the significant workforce implications at a time when general practice and the wider NHS is experiencing enormous workforce and workload pressures. We simply can’t afford to lose highly-trained staff in general practice when we need as many as possible delivering patient care.

“A delay to the vaccination deadline that has been set would allow more time to address concerns and hesitancies that unvaccinated people working in the NHS may have about getting vaccinated and encourage them to think otherwise. It also creates a window of opportunity to have a national conversation about whether mandating Covid-19 vaccinations is necessary.

“We know that the vast majority of health professionals have been vaccinated. For those that haven’t yet been vaccinated, we would strongly encourage them to do so, unless there is a medical reason why they shouldn’t. The Covid-19 vaccine is our most important tool in protecting ourselves and others from the virus and all vaccines that we’re currently using in the UK have undergone rigorous testing to ensure they are safe and effective.”

Further information

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RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.