Vaccination as a condition of deployment in CQC registered healthcare settings from 1 April 2022
On 6 January 2022, the Government made new legislation , approved by Parliament, which amended the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 (“the 2014 Regulations”). This extends the scope of mandatory vaccination requirements for staff beyond registered care homes to health and wider social care settings in England.
The regulations provide that the registered person can only deploy or otherwise engage a person for the purposes of the provision of a CQC-regulated activity, in which they have direct, face to face contact with patients and service users, if the person provides evidence that they have been vaccinated with a complete course of a Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved COVID-19 vaccine. This is subject to specific exemptions and conditions.
The vaccination as a condition of deployment (VCOD) requirements include front-line workers, as well as non-clinical workers not directly involved in patient care but who may have face to face contact with patients, including ancillary staff such as porters, cleaners or receptionists. The VCOD regulations allow a grace period for compliance and the requirement will come into force on 1 April 2022.
From 1 April 2022, as with workers, it will become law that any volunteer engaged for the purposes of the provision of a CQC regulated activity and who has face-to-face contact with people receiving care must be fully vaccinated with an authorised COVID-19 vaccine or be able to demonstrate that they fall into the listed exemptions. The registered or nominated person (eg NHS Trust Head of Volunteering) will have a discussion with you to confirm whether your role is in scope of the new regulations and if so, you will only be able to continue providing services if you are vaccinated or provide evidence of your exemption.
The deadline to receive a first vaccination to hit the 1 April new law is 3rd February 2022
Activities regulated under the Care Quality Act are:
- Treatment, care and support provided by hospitals, GPs dentists, ambulances and mental health services.
- Treatment, care and support services for adults in care homes and in people’s own homes (both personal and nursing care).
- Services for people whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act.