A HOSPITAL chief has said she does “not want to lose a single member of staff” as plans to scrap the mandatory jab requirement come under review.

Earlier this week Health Secretary Sajid Javid said he believes it is “no longer proportionate” to require vaccination as a condition of deployment under law.

The controversial mandate would mean that NHS staff must receive a first jab by February 3, and be fully vaccinated by April 1, to continue working in frontline roles.

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NHS England data shows 95 per cent of the 5,955 health care workers at University Hospitals Dorset (UHD) - who run Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole hospitals - had received at least one vaccination by the end of December, meaning 279 were unvaccinated at that point.

Speaking ahead of the news the rules would be reviewed, Professor Alyson O’Donnell, chief medical officer at University Hospitals Dorset (UHD), said: “Before Christmas we wrote to everybody we didn’t have a record of the vaccination for and asked them to provide us with evidence of their vaccination if they had been vaccinated, or their NHS number.

“Everyday the number of people who ‘haven’t been vaccinated’ goes down just because we’re able to confirm that they have been.

Bournemouth Echo: Professor Alyson O'DonnellProfessor Alyson O'Donnell

“The people we worry about are those who choose not to get vaccinated and it will affect those who are in a clinical role.

“It’s very difficult to put those people into another role if they are clinical.

“We do not want to lose a single member of staff.”

The NHS Confederation, which represents the whole healthcare system, said there were risks as well as benefits to a mandatory approach.

Chief executive Danny Mortimer said: "While the majority of health and care workers have been vaccinated, even small reductions in staffing numbers can cause disruption.

"No leader wants to see this given the high standards of care they wish to maintain, the significant vacancies that exist across the NHS already, and the care backlogs that have built up during the pandemic."

Mr Javid said everyone working in health and social care has a professional duty to be vaccinated against Covid-19, and that the Government “makes no apology” for the initial policy.

But he acknowledged that there will always be some who will walk away from their jobs over getting the jab, adding: “We have to consider the impact on the workforce in NHS and social care settings, especially at a time when we already have a shortage of workers and near full employment across the economy.”

While the Government is seeking to end the legal mandate, he has written to health regulators asking them to urgently review guidance to registrants on vaccinations “to emphasise their professional responsibilities in this area”.