Around 300 staff at a Yorkshire hospital trust have not been fully vaccinated

A Yorkshire hospital boss says 300 front-line workers who have not been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be “supported to consider their decision again,” before jabs are made mandatory.

Around 300 front-line workers at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have not been fully vaccinated

It comes after the Government announced last month that health and social care workers, including volunteers who have face-to-face contact with service users, will need to provide evidence they have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 from April 1, in order to keep their job.

Dr Richard Jenkins, chief executive of Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, told a meeting of the trust’s board of directors: “We’ve been doing quite a lot of work to get ready for the issue about mandatory vaccinations for frontline workers, from the first of April.

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“There’s a lot of data validation been going on, and we’re now down to no more than 300 of our staff have not been doubly vaccinated.

“That number is likely to come down further with some validation, but we’re likely to end up with about 200 staff, we think, who are not vaccinated."

He added: “What we’ll be doing is supporting those staff to consider their decision again, and hopefully allay any fears they may have about the vaccine, and support them to get vaccinated by the cut off date.”

Steve Ned, director of workforce, said that the “prime means of persuasion” will be a “one-to-one coversation with someone from a clinical background.”

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Dr Simon Enright, medical director at the trust, said the trust would offer “support, discussions” and “some counselling” to unvaccinated staff.

He said: “We reckon that the overall number of our front-line staff who we don’t know the vaccination status of, I think it’s fair to say, is less than 200 now, which is probably less that 5 per cent.

“What we don’t know at the moment is, of the 200, whether they’ve had vaccinations elsewhere. Even though there are national databases, they don’t talk to each other."

He added: “We’ve looked at doctors in particular, and out of the 534 doctors, there’s only 27 now that we don’t know their status.

“We highly suspect that a number of them have had the vaccine.”