College responds to mandatory vaccination of health care workers consultation

The College has responded to the Department for Health and Social Care consultation on making vaccination a condition of deployment in the health and wider social care sector.

Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “The Covid vaccination programme has been a huge success with almost 45 million over-16s fully vaccinated in the UK, showing that overall take up has been very high. 

“We would strongly urge all health and care professionals to be vaccinated, unless there is a medical reason why they shouldn’t. The vast majority of professionals have been vaccinated. They know they are at high-risk of contracting Covid-19 and getting vaccinated will help protect themselves, their colleagues and their patients. However, whilst we understand the desire of some people to make vaccination mandatory, we don’t agree with it as informed and educated choice about health interventions would be more beneficial long-term than enforcing them, which risks leading to resentment and mistrust. There are also workforce implications to consider at a time when we need as many people as possible working in general practice and across the health and care sectors delivering essential patient care and services.

“The Covid-19 vaccine is our most important tool in protecting people from the virus. All vaccines that we’re currently using in the UK have undergone rigorous testing to ensure they are safe and effective - as such, we’d urge anyone who is offered a jab to have one.”

Read our full response to the consultation (498 KB PDF).

Further information

(For Media only)

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.