Scrap 'ludicrous' mandatory vaccination policy, says Rosindell

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell.

Andrew Rosindell backed NHS workers protesting mandatory vaccines - Credit: Andrew Rosindell

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell has called on the government to change its mandatory vaccination policy for NHS workers.

This comes as unvaccinated staff at Queen's Hospital and their supporters held a demonstration on Friday - January 21.

According to organisers, roughly 100 health workers from Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), which runs the hospital, attended the protest.

BHRUT staff and their supporters held a demonstration outside Queen's Hospital in opposition to mandatory vaccination.

BHRUT staff and their supporters held a demonstration outside Queen's Hospital in opposition to the government-imposed vaccine mandate. - Credit: Daniel Gayne

From April 1, staff who have not received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will lose their jobs. 

Having met with the Queen's workers on Monday, Mr Rosindell said he stands "side by side" with those protesting the government's "ludicrous policy".

He said: "I have long campaigned against lockdown restrictions since the Summer of 2020 and have vehemently opposed mandatory vaccination in any setting.

"I think it is utterly wrong to sack around 60,000 health and social care workers nationwide, especially when the NHS is already stretched to capacity."

As of January 14, 1,165 of BHRUT’s 7,538 staff (15.4 per cent) are recorded as having not yet been vaccinated, including 70 of the trust’s 300 midwives. 

The MP added: "I find it nonsensical to introduce a vaccine mandate after two years of allowing non-vaccinated staff to treat patients.

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"It would be folly to sack thousands of dedicated and hardworking employees after the dedication they have shown during the pandemic."

He pointed to NHS staff already struggling with their mental health, who now face potentially losing their jobs under the new rules.

"Sometimes you have to do what is right; this is black and white and we need to oppose it," he said.

Andrea O’Brien, whose parents are regular patients at the hospital.

Andrea O’Brien, whose parents are regular patients at the hospital. - Credit: Daniel Gayne

"The government should bite the bullet and change their policy, rather than delay the implementation on mandatory vaccinations for health and social care workers.” 

A spokesperson for the department of health and social care said: “Health and social care workers look after the most vulnerable people in society, who could face serious health consequences if exposed to the virus. 

"Ensuring staff are vaccinated is the right thing to do to protect patients and those in care. The vast majority of NHS staff have had the vaccine, which is our best defence against Covid-19.” 

BHRUT chief executive Matthew Trainer said he understood the reservations expressed about mandatory vaccination. 

“We are working with individuals to listen to their worries, address their concerns and encourage them to choose to have the vaccine,” he said.

Practice development nurse Donna Axford

Practice development nurse Donna Axford - Credit: Daniel Gayne