HUNDREDS of care home workers across Dorset are yet to receive a Covid vaccination – as fears grow of a national staffing shortage with the deadline looming for all staff to get vaccinated.

Under a decision passed by MPs in July, all eligible staff must be double-jabbed by November 11 in an older adult care home in a bid to protect residents.

But the move has been described as "ill-thought-out" by care sector leaders who fear a major staffing crisis.

NHS figures show in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, 535 out of 4,600 eligible staff (12 per cent), including agency workers, at older adult care homes had not received a first dose by August 22.

That proportion has fallen from mid-June, shortly after the legislation for mandatory vaccinations was announced, when 17 per cent were unvaccinated.

In wider-Dorset 266 out of 4,425 of eligible staff (six per cent) had not received a first dose by August 22.

Mandy Kittlety, managing director at Luxurycare Group which runs five care homes in Dorset spoke out about the new November 11 deadline.

She said: “It’s a real dilemma for all of us in social care because in our hearts is this desire to make sure that everybody we care for is safe and we do know that being double vaccinated will hopefully reduce the spread of this horrendous virus. But on the other side of things as a company we’re really concerned about our staff team."

The Department of Health and Social Care estimates around 7 per cent of the care industry workforce – around 40,000 workers – risk being lost as a result of making vaccination a condition of employment in care homes.

Councillor Karen Rampton, portfolio holder for adults at BCP Council said: “We are working closely with care homes in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole to promote the uptake of vaccinations for care home staff. The latest NHS data shows an increased uptake in vaccinations in the last few weeks, which we expect to continue to grow, with less than 11% of staff unvaccinated. Any carer getting their first dose before 16 September, will be on track to be fully vaccinated by 11 November when the new regulations come into force.

“We are in frequent contact with local care homes to understand the roles that any unvaccinated staff currently hold, and any concerns that they have about their individual service, as well as their plans for addressing any staffing issues."