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Learn more about the new vaccine regulations for care home staff, and how this could impact the care sector this winter. 
To many of us with relatives or loved ones who are living in a care home, or who receive regular care from social care workers, the recent news of predicted care home staff shortages are extremely worrying. 
 
The predictions have come from the government’s requirements for care staff in England and Wales to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus by the 11th November in order to continue working in the care sector. 
 
This requirement will lead to a potentially significant decrease in the number of staff working as carers, a sector that is already struggling to recruit new staff due to poor pay and working conditions. The government themselves has predicted that at least 40,000 care home staff will not be vaccinated in time for this cut off date, and will therefore no longer be able to continue their job role. Some care homes are looking to be losing as many as one in five staff due to the new regulations. 

What do the new care home staff vaccine regulations mean? 

With these new regulations, the main risk is the loss of a large number of care home staff who currently work fully-trained in the sector, a loss of around 40,000 staff in one day will be devastating for the industry if not properly planned for. 
 
With a sudden shortage of staff like this, come concerns over obtaining new staff in a short period of time, as well as concerns over the standard of care that care home residents will be receiving during this time. 
 
With significantly less staff onboard, care home residents could well suffer from a reduced standard of care, which may fall below that that is expected for the vulnerable residents. In worst case scenarios, this could lead to negligent care of residents, and unnecessary injury or illnesses, such as medication errors or pressure sores. 
 
On the other hand, the desperate flurry to hire new staff in time to avoid this situation leads to further concerns over the standard of training that new staff could be receiving. Without the correct training in how to properly and safely care for all of the residents’ needs, new care home staff could easily make mistakes leading to care home negligence. 
 
There is also the further element that remaining staff will have the extra strain and burden of loosing the help of their colleagues, leading to burnout of remaining care home staff, and once again a reduced standard of care for care home residents. 

How to spot care home negligence: 

These predictions will be understandably concerning to those who have relatives or loved ones currently living in a care home. If your loved one is living in a care home, or a nursing home, and you suspect that neglect may be happening, or simply want to know what signs to keep an eye out for, there are some warning signs to look out for. 
 
This is not to say that these signs alone are clear evidence of care home neglect, but when a relative is regularly displaying one or more of these symptoms, then it could be an indication that neglect is taking place. 
 
The warning signs of care home neglect include: 
Personal hygiene issues 
Malnutrition 
Insomnia 
Dehydration 
New or untreated medical conditions 
Significant personality changes 
Other unexplained injuries 

Can I take legal action against a care home? 

If you ever believe that your relative or loved one’s injury or illness has been caused by care home neglect, you could be eligible to take legal action against the care home through a care home negligence claim. 
 
Nobody deserves to be subject to negligent care or treatment when being looked after in a care home. If you, or your relative, have been injured in any way due to the negligent actions of care home staff, then you are not alone, and many just like you have successfully won care home negligence claims for financial compensation for the injuries and suffering of the victims. 
 
To learn more about care home negligence, and how to make a care home negligence claim, you can see our full page dedicated to these claims on our website, here. 
 
Or, to speak to a solicitor on a free, confidential basis about your potential care home negligence claim, simply contact us online, here, or give us a call on 01772 783314 . 
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