Last autumn, the Government ran a consultation on mandatory COVID vaccination for patient-facing staff undertaking CQC regulated activities in England. The RCM, alongside many other health organisations, responded to that consultation and set out our opposition to mandatory vaccination. Despite this, in November, the Government decided to press ahead with the policy and amended the regulatory framework.

As a result of this change, all patient-facing staff in England that undertake CQC regulated activities – including maternity services - must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no later than 1 April 2022.

What this means for midwives and MSWs in England

All midwives and MSWs in England must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 – both primary doses – by 1 April 2022. In order to have received the second dose by the deadline, the first one must have been administered on or before 3 February 2022.

The RCM has published a briefing with further details on timelines and implementation.

NHS England and Improvement guidance can be accessed here and information from the NMC can be found here.

Where we are now

The RCM has called for an immediate delay to implementation due to ongoing staff shortages and the possible workforce implications of mandatory vaccination. You can read the media release for more information here.

As well as raising concerns about this policy, which is now enshrined in the regulatory framework, the RCM continues to encourage members to take up the vaccine to protect themselves and maternity service users. You can access RCM resources 'why should I get the jab?' here.

We will support and represent members who are put through formal processes regarding vaccination, ensuring they are applied fairly and proportionately and make sure RCM workplace representatives are supported to carry out their role.

The RCM’s Health and Safety Advisor has written a blog with more information about the RCM’s position here.