'I've had to put people into poverty': Care home manager devastated over being forced to sack staff

A care home manager has told ITV Central she has had to put her workers in potential poverty after new rules about Covid-19 vaccinations came into force.

Theresa Ingram-Gettins, who is from Birmingham, spoke out over the latest changes as she gave a tearful interview about what it is like working in the sector.

She said: "This home is like a family, we're all very, very close to each other. I've had to put people into possible poverty because I've had to take their jobs away from them."

Her comments come as hundreds of health workers across the Midlands lost their jobs today as care home staff who have not had both coronavirus vaccine doses will be unable to legally work in care homes from Thursday.

As a result of the government’s mandatory jab policy kicking in, those who refused to get the jab were sacked - leaving some care home bosses desperately short-staffed.

Ms Ingram-Gettins, who manages Boldmere Court care home in Sutton Coldfield, said her remaining staff are at breaking point and she is heartbroken at having to sack or suspend loyal workers. 

Watch Theresa's full interview here:

Ms Ingram-Gettins said she has had to let go six people and suspend a further six from the care home.

She said: "Which means that those shifts which could be three or four shifts in a week have got to be covered."

The care home manager said: "And for the first time, we are having to use agency to cover them, or myself and the deputies stepping in."

She added: "People are doing extra shifts. We're tired. We've gone through pandemic. We're not having holidays, we're not having days off,  we're just worn out and Boris is not helping us with this."

Several thousands of these are understood to have self-certified as medically exempt or to have applied for formal proof.

Of those not double jabbed by November 7, it is understood that more than half have had one dose.

Health officials expect the number of double vaccinated staff to have risen in the three days between Sunday and Thursday.

It is unclear how many staff have already quit due to the requirement.

Of those not double jabbed by November 7, it is understood that more than half have had one dose.

NHS England figures up to the end of October show that the number of staff in care homes in England has fallen by more than 4,000 since just after the first-dose deadline in mid-September, although this is likely to be due to multiple reasons.

Staff who are unvaccinated after the deadline face losing their jobs, although care home providers can choose to redeploy staff into non-frontline roles, if these are available, or place them on paid or unpaid leave until they receive both doses.

As late as Wednesday, care groups were calling for the deadline to be delayed to next April, saying the “no jab, no job” policy would amount to “no staff, no care”.

The move comes as care homes face unprecedented staffing shortages, with some quitting in advance due to the requirement and others expected to have worked their last days this week.

Recruitment and retention is also a struggle as industries such as hospitality and retail, which can offer better pay and hours, prove more popular.

The government has allocated £162.5 million to help with workforce issues, and last week launched a national recruitment campaign to fill more than 100,000 social care vacancies.

The National Care Association said the vaccine was a key part of controlling the virus but the unintended consequence of the mandatory policy would be “no staff, no care.”