Question Time: Fiona Bruce questions Scotland's vaccine record
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The BBC Question Time presented questioned Ian Blackford over the success of the vaccination campaign among care home workers amid plans to have staff undergo mandatory vaccination in England. Fiona Bruce asked the SNP Westminster leader to explain the reasons behind the near-total uptake in Scotland but urged him to do so “sensibly.” Ms Bruce said: “Why do you think it is?
“Clearly, I’m not asking you to blow your Government’s trumpet here.
“Sensibly, why do you think Scotland has succeeded there? In London, just 23 percent of care homes have reached the target for staff being vaccinated.”
Mr Blackford insisted open communication with the care community had played a pivotal part in the success of the vaccination rollout.
The SNP politician said: “What you’ve got in Scotland is a Government, at large, which is trusted
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“One of the key factors over the past 15 months has been the First Minister, almost on a daily basis, giving a press conference, giving information to the public as to what’s going on and what was expected of people.
“Giving guidance and seeking to bring people with us.
“The point is we’ve had a consistency of message, we’ve communicated fairly with the public and the public has come with us on that journey, a difficult journey for so many people.
“And the fact so many in the care community have taken the vaccine so we don’t face this problem.”
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Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed care homes staff in England will be required to get jabbed despite the strong concerns expressed by sector leaders around the impact it could have on already-stretched staffing levels.
Mr Hancock told Parliament that “after careful consultation, we’ve decided to take this proposal forward to protect residents”.
He said a consultation will be had on the same approach in the NHS “to save lives and protect patients from disease”.
Addressing colleagues in the Commons, he said: “The vast majority of staff in care homes are already vaccinated but not all, and we know that the vaccine not only protects you but protects those around you.
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“Therefore we will be taking forward the measures to ensure the mandation as a condition of deployment for staff in care homes and we will consult on the same approach in the NHS in order to save lives and protect patients from disease.”
From October, subject to parliamentary approval and a 16-week grace period, anyone working in a Care Quality Commission-registered care home in England must have two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine unless they have a medical exemption, the Department of Health and Social Care said.
The requirement will also apply to people coming into care homes to do other work, such as tradespeople, hairdressers and beauticians, and inspectors.
There will be exceptions for family and friends visiting care homes, under 18s, emergency services and people undertaking urgent maintenance work, the department said.
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