A care home manager broke down today after being forced to sack six staff members who refused to get vaccinated against Covid — as she pleaded with Boris Johnson to ‘give us a break’.
Theresa — who runs a home for the elderly in the Midlands — said it was ‘very difficult’ to have to let staff go, knowing that she is sending some of them ‘into poverty’.
She claimed England’s controversial new ‘no jab, no job’ policy was ‘affecting people’s mental health’ after it kicked in at midnight and forced up to 60,000 carers out of work.
The care boss added that staff were now being forced to work extra hours to make up for the vacancies, which was taking a toll on those still in employment’s ‘physical wellbeing’.
She told Good Morning Britain: ‘We’re tired, we’re worn out, we’ve just come through a pandemic – give us a break Boris.’
All care home workers in England, including cleaners and receptionists, are now legally required to have had both of their Covid vaccines.
It’s thought that as many as 57,000 failed to hit the deadline today, which care bosses say will create dangerous staffing levels that puts residents’ lives at risk.
Unions have warned the move was like ‘taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut’, given that 90 per cent of the workforce was already vaccinated. One facility in Liverpool revealed it had lost seven per cent of its staff overnight.
Business minister Paul Scully defended the mandate, saying care workers had ‘plenty of time’ to book for their vaccines. He urged staff to ‘reconsider’ getting their jabs.
Elsewhere, unvaccinated staff members said they felt ‘let down’ to be suddenly labelled as an ‘instant danger’ to the residents they have cared for for years.
One care worker who lost his job after refusing to get the vaccine said he was left feeling ‘abandoned’ and ‘betrayed’ by the decision.
Dave Kelly, 32, who asked not to be pictured, started working at a home in Merseyside to ‘do my bit of good for people’.
He said after signing up at the start of the pandemic a year-and-a-half ago he had only taken three weeks off.
He said: ‘I previously worked as a guide over in Asia but now I am sitting in front of gifts and thank you cards from over 40 families I helped this last two years and still take out family members who have lost a loved one in our care.
‘How do I feel today? Let down, abandoned, betrayed, shunned, disbelief, anger, panic that we are the first but won’t be the last, concern that this system will collapse under Tory failures.
‘Most importantly, I feel dread for the millions of people who will now have to live or work in a crippled care sector.’
Mr Kelly said he felt ‘most annoyed’ to have been allowed to work on the front lines with little to no protection initially, but was now considered an ‘instant danger’.
He did not explain why he had decided not to get the Covid jab.
An unvaccinated care worker from Bristol revealed she was now working in Lidl because of the Covid jab mandate.
Ruslana Mironova, 46, had worked at luxury £10million care home Badminton Place in Bristol but resigned as soon as vaccines were made compulsory.
‘I’m very disappointed, it’s very sad [to have left],’ she said.
‘I’ve worked as a carer for 15 years and it is a job that I love. It should be our choice whether to have the vaccination or not.
‘I care about the people I care for, and I’m really disappointed with the Government, not with my managers — they have no choice either.
‘I am not afraid to speak out on this. It’s not fair for the 30,000 carers who have left their job and it’s not fair for the people being cared for — there is already a shortage of carers and NHS staff and now the Government is creating an even bigger problem.’
Ms Mironova said she initially looked for work in the NHS, but found it difficult to explain why she had left the care sector after so many years.
The former carer had got all her traditional jabs, but had steered clear of the Covid shot because it had been ‘made so quickly’.
She was also concerned about potential long-term effects.
A care boss in Liverpool revealed today that she had lost seven per cent of her staff because of the vaccine mandate.
Helen Ormandy, who runs St Joseph’s care home near the city centre, told Sky News these employees would have been helping to bathe and wash residents.
She had worked hard to get them ‘up to date’ information on the vaccines to ‘promote and encourage’ them to get jabbed.
But she added: ‘Ultimately, we do have to accept that decision that they’ve made that is right for them.’
She said that the home was currently still at safe staffing levels, and was recruiting more workers to help plug the gaps.
A care boss revealed yesterday how she had been left ‘heartbroken’ by leaving letters from unvaccinated members of staff.
Niccii Gillett, 37, who manages Elmfield House Residential Home in Woking, Surrey, said they had lost six out of 36 employees because of the mandate. Two had been at the home for more than seven years.
She said: ‘The sad thing is none of them wanted to leave. And reading their resignation letters was heartbreaking.
‘They’re so grateful for the opportunities and the first one that left, we gave gifts.
‘It was such an emotional afternoon and for days afterwards my residents were heartbroken because they saw this person as one of them, and even a resident, they have said “I wish she could come back, I don’t care that she’s not vaccinated”.