Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Trust running Whipps may lose thousands of staff over vaccine refusal

Barts Health NHS Trust has one of the lowest Covid vaccine rates in the UK

Hero for Trust running Whipps may lose thousands of staff over vaccine refusal

The NHS trust that runs Whipps Cross could lose more than 5,000 staff across all its hospitals if they continue to refuse the Covid vaccine.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced last month that all frontline NHS workers would have to get two doses of the vaccine by April or face losing their jobs.

Across the capital, official NHS figures show that almost 40,000 NHS workers have not been double jabbed and could be sacked.

Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs five hospitals, could be the worst-affected in London, as it has both the largest workforce and one of the lowest vaccination rates.

Barts has a workforce of 25,035, which is the second-biggest in the UK, and runs Whipps Cross, the Royal London, Newham Hospital, St Bartholomew's and Mile End Hospital.

As of 28th November, its staff vaccination rate was 82.5%, narrowly missing being the worst in London by 0.1%, and giving it the third lowest vaccination rate of all trusts in England.

This represents 5,054 staff members who have yet to be double-jabbed and risk being removed from their posts.

Such a huge shortage of staff could have a major impact on NHS services at these hospitals, already under mounting pressure.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “As the Health and Social Care secretary said, NHS and care staff do amazing work and we are thankful to those who have chosen to get the vaccine.

“This is about patient safety – we know vaccines work and if those in hospital and care are exposed to Covid-19 it could be fatal. It’s our duty to ensure that they are as safe as can be.”

NHS London and Barts Health referred the Local Democracy Reporting Service to the DHSC for comment.