London hospital may lose 1,000 staff who refuse to get Covid vaccine

By Emily Atkinson

A south east London hospital chief has warned it could be on track to lose 1,000 staff if they refuse to have the coronavirus vaccination before it becomes mandatory for health service workers come April.

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Morning show, Clive Kay, the chief executive of King’s College Hospital (KCH), said that 10 per cent of the 14,000 staff are still to receive their first dose of the jab. He added that, as a result, more than 1,000 KCH workers could be lost in an “extreme” scenario, unless vaccine uptake improves.

Mr Kay continued in saying that unvaccinated members of the workforce who cannot be deployed to an alternative non-patient-facing role risk losing their jobs.

Most recent data shows that 91 per cent of NHS staff members have received two doses of the Covid jab. As such, over 90,000 members of staff remain unvaccinated.

The KCH head acknowledged that individual choice should be respected, but that it was his role to “encourage staff to get vaccinated”.

It comes after Sajid Javid was challenged by unvaxxed NHS anaesthetist, Steve James, over the government’s policy of mandatory Covid jabs for healthcare staff during a visit to the same hospital.

The health secretary has since slammed “anti-vaccination fanatics” who he said cause “senseless disruption”.

“We need to call out the dangerous nonsense pushed around by some, because the case for getting the jab has only become more overwhelming,” he wrote in The Mail on Sunday.

Speaking of his visit to KCH, Mr Javid said: “One consultant told me his team estimated a shocking 70 per cent of Covid patients taking up beds in intensive care were unvaccinated. Their choice not to get vaccinated has clearly taken a toll not just on them as individuals but on wider society.

“And yet that same consultant later told me that he still hadn’t had a vaccine. This shows how much we still have to do to make the case for everyone making that positive decision to get the jab.”

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