COVID-19 vaccination essential to protect staff and vulnerable people in our care

HammondCare staff members Steve Calder, Sarah Bartrop and Nina Johnson celebrate getting their COVID-19 vaccinationVaccination against COVID-19 will be a requirement for all HammondCare employees in all roles following a staff consultation process that found strong support for this measure to be taken.

The independent Christian charity, one of Australia’s most innovative health and aged care providers, has decided on the policy for all its 4000+ employees to take effect from the end of this month.

All staff who are not yet vaccinated have been asked to have their first vaccination or at least have their first vaccination booked by October 31, 2021. Staff will be asked to send through proof of a booking by this date.

The decision to make vaccination a requirement of employment for all roles follows a survey of all staff which found 85% of respondents supported the move.

Chief Executive Mike Baird said the decision was supported by advice from HammondCare’s Clinical Governance Committee. “Our motivation, as always, is what is best for the people we care for – vaccination is the greatest protection against COVID-19,” Mr Baird said.

He said HammondCare’s frontline aged care staff were already required to comply with recent Government requirements for mandatory COVD-19 vaccine for health and residential aged care. There was 100% compliance in that group of HammondCare’s staff.

“This decision ensures that we are doing everything we can to protect our whole team and put our Mission into Action by better managing risks as we provide high-quality care for residents, patients and clients,” Mr Baird said.

About 2300 staff responded to the survey during the consultation process.

Of the staff who responded, 95% indicated having all HammondCare staff vaccinated would be well received by residents, patients, clients and their families.

The survey found there were already high levels of vaccination across HammondCare with 93% reporting they already had at least one vaccination while another 73 per cent indicated they were fully vaccinated.

HammondCare will work on a one-on-one basis with staff that have exemptions for valid health reasons as outlined by National Immunisation Guidelines.

HammondCare has had in place a range of initiatives to support staff to access a COVID-19 vaccination, including via onsite vaccination hubs or clinics, paid time to receive a vaccination, and support for casual employees to get vaccinated.