An NHS trust is set to tell its staff that Covid jabs are compulsory as it calls on workers who have turned down vaccines to change their minds.

A letter from the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust in London will go out to all of its 6,000 staff shortly to let them know of the change.

It is said to state: ‘We will be making Covid vaccination mandatory for all our employees and it will form part of the employment contract.’

The document, seen by the Independent, is signed by the trust’s chief executive Lesley Watts and says that employees who have ‘chosen’ not to be vaccinated are being called on to change their minds.

The newspaper reports the letter as saying: ‘We will need to take into account your vaccination status in your occupational risk assessment and this may impact the range of duties you undertake and indeed the environment in which you work.’

It is also reported that the letter has been sent to other NHS bosses in London with the suggestion that they ‘adapt and use’ it in their trusts.

Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust is set to tell its staff that Covid jabs are compulsory as it calls on workers who have turned down vaccines to change their minds

Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust is set to tell its staff that Covid jabs are compulsory as it calls on workers who have turned down vaccines to change their minds

Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust is set to tell its staff that Covid jabs are compulsory as it calls on workers who have turned down vaccines to change their minds

Caroline Nicolls receives an injection of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine administered by nurse Amy Nash, at the Madejski Stadium in Reading, Berkshire

Caroline Nicolls receives an injection of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine administered by nurse Amy Nash, at the Madejski Stadium in Reading, Berkshire

Caroline Nicolls receives an injection of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine administered by nurse Amy Nash, at the Madejski Stadium in Reading, Berkshire

GOVERNMENT WILL TRY TO MAKE VACCINES COMPULSORY FOR CARE HOME STAFF 

Ministers will push for coronavirus vaccines to become mandatory for care home staff in England, Matt Hancock confirmed today.

The Health Secretary argued workers have a ‘duty of care’ to elderly residents, who are most at risk of dying from the disease.

Mr Hancock claimed industry bosses were united in their calls for a ‘no jab, no job’ policy, insisting good uptake was ‘our route out of this pandemic’.

Critics said any decision to make jabs compulsory would be an ‘incredibly bad idea’. And England’s care chief claimed the sector was still ‘divided’ over the plans, which were first leaked three weeks ago.

Department of Health officials have now launched a five-week consultation on the proposal, with a final decision expected by July.

Asked whether care home staff who refuse a vaccine could be sacked, Government sources told MailOnline: ‘Everything is on the table’.

The scheme will only apply to care homes for elderly people and does not include facilities housing younger disabled or vulnerable adults. NHS workers and home carers won’t be subjected to the new rules either.

NHS England figures show 78.9 per cent of care home workers are still to come forward for their jab, the equivalent of nearly 100,000.

The Department of Health and Social Care said nearly half of all elderly care homes do not meet vaccination thresholds.

SAGE has said at least 80 per cent of staff and 90 per cent of residents need to be immunised to provide a minimum level of protection against Covid outbreaks. More than a quarter of all Covid deaths have been care home residents.

Boris Johnson’s official spokesman previously accepted it would be ‘discriminatory’ to force anyone to be vaccinated.

Quizzed about mandatory vaccines last November, the PM himself said: ‘That’s not the way we do things in this country’.

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It is believed that adding vaccination requirement into employment contracts would amount to a change in terms and conditions for staff that could throw up legal challenges. 

It comes as an NHS study has found that Pfizer’s Covid vaccine has cut emergency hospital admissions for the disease by three quarters in elderly people.

Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of the health service in England, said ‘vaccines are successfully reducing hospitalisations and deaths’.

Internal figures showed Covid admissions in A&E were down 76 per cent among vaccinated people aged 80 to 83, and positive tests fell 70 per cent.

The improvements were seen from 35 days after people’s first vaccine doses and based on eight out of 10 getting their second jab within four weeks. Therefore, the findings are not specifically about effectiveness after either one dose or two doses. 

Everyone in the study was given the Pfizer vaccine because they were enrolled in December, before the AstraZeneca jab started to be used.  

The research comes as NHS England statistics show that over-65s now make up a smaller proportion of hospital patients than they did before vaccines, accounting for 49 per cent in March compared to 70 per cent in December. 

Meanwhile, Matt Hancock confirmed today that ministers will push for coronavirus vaccines to become mandatory for care home staff in England.

The Health Secretary argued workers have a ‘duty of care’ to elderly residents, who are most at risk of dying from the disease.

Mr Hancock claimed industry bosses were united in their calls for a ‘no jab, no job’ policy, insisting good uptake was ‘our route out of this pandemic’.

Critics said any decision to make jabs compulsory would be an ‘incredibly bad idea’. And England’s care chief claimed the sector was still ‘divided’ over the plans, which were first leaked three weeks ago.

Department of Health officials have now launched a five-week consultation on the proposal, with a final decision expected by July.

Asked whether care home staff who refuse a vaccine could be sacked, Government sources told MailOnline: ‘Everything is on the table’.

The scheme will only apply to care homes for elderly people and does not include facilities housing younger disabled or vulnerable adults. NHS workers and home carers won’t be subjected to the new rules either.

NHS England figures show 78.9 per cent of care home workers are still to come forward for their jab, the equivalent of nearly 100,000.

The Department of Health and Social Care said nearly half of all elderly care homes do not meet vaccination thresholds.

SAGE has said at least 80 per cent of staff and 90 per cent of residents need to be immunised to provide a minimum level of protection against Covid outbreaks. More than a quarter of all Covid deaths have been care home residents.

Boris Johnson’s official spokesman previously accepted it would be ‘discriminatory’ to force anyone to be vaccinated.

Quizzed about mandatory vaccines last November, the PM himself said: ‘That’s not the way we do things in this country’. 

It comes as Britain’s daily Covid cases have fallen by 10 per cent in a week, according to official figures which suggest Easter hasn’t caused the country’s outbreak to spike — despite fears infections would increase after the four-day bank holiday weekend.

Department of Health bosses posted another 2,491 positive coronavirus tests today and 45 deaths — down 16 per cent on last Wednesday.

Infections have mostly trended downwards over the past few days, despite concerns that England’s loosening of restrictions ahead of the bank holiday break would spark a resurgence of the virus. Ministers reintroduced the rule of six outdoors, allowing family and friends to meet up and enjoy the sunny weather. 

Experts said today they ‘can’t see anything’ to suggest Easter has sparked any spike in infections, although they claimed it would take another week to spot any definite uptick in the daily numbers. 

England’s lockdown restrictions were relaxed even further on Monday, with pubs and restaurants allowed to serve customers outdoors again, while gyms, shops and hairdressers were also told they could reopen.

Number 10’s top scientists say cases will inevitably spike during Boris Johnson’s ultra-cautious roadmap back to normality. 

But any impact from Downing Street’s latest easing won’t be seen immediately because of the lag between getting infected, becoming ill, taking a test and receiving the results.

The Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust and NHS England have been approached for comment.