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  • Kirsty Kerr

Vaccine Mandates and Staffing Shortages: Competing Impeditives to Providing Elderly Care

Vaccine Mandates and Staffing Shortages: Competing Impeditive to Providing Elderly Care The United Kingdom recognizes healthcare as a fundamental right. Unfortunately, that doesn’t render it immune from scarcity. Currently, staff shortages are wracking the UK, particularly the healthcare field. This has led to longer patient wait times, fewer provider-patient contact hours, and in some cases a deteriorating quality of care. Meanwhile, legislators are trying to tackle a competing concern: the coronavirus. People of an advanced age are far more likely to be hospitalized or die from the coronavirus than are their younger counterparts. This has led to a push to get the elderly and their caretakers vaccinated. In 2021, policymakers revised The Health and Social Care Act of 2008 to mandate that all healthcare workers be vaccinated against the coronavirus. However, vaccine skepticism is ubiquitous, even among healthcare workers. The Health and Social Care Act of 2008 estimated that up to 13% of healthcare workers would lose their jobs due to the mandate—on top of the already soaring vacancy rates. For families making the decision to put aging parents in nursing homes or care homes, this is a difficult position to be in. Nobody wants to have to put a parent in harm's way. Some facilities in the UK have adopted creative approaches to staff-shortages. Bromson Hill Nursing Home in Warwickshire hires temporary workers (all vaccinated) to plug staffing shortages; Whatever your situation, there is hope. Medical centres across the country are working to improve patient care, alleviate staffing shortages, and return to normal.

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