Unvaccinated frontline, healthcare workers at the Southampton General Hospital in England will be reassigned to non-front line positions. According to a BBC report, unvaccinated workers upon receiving news of their reassignment were left feeling bullied, coerced, and frustrated. Speaking to the BBC, one employee stated that she just did not feel ready to take the vaccine and was doing so at her own risk. The unvaccinated employees, via letter, were told by the University Hospital Southampton NHS trust they will be redeployed so long as they remain unvaccinated.
University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust (UHS) in its letter stated that its main focus was to keep both staff and patients safe and redeploying its unvaccinated staff from frontline roles was a method to do so. According to the UHS, 94 percent of their staff has already been vaccinated following their vaccination drive in December. The move, they said, to redeploy unvaccinated staff away from frontline roles as part of their commitment to “protect staff, patients and the broader capacity of the workforce to support our services”.
England’s largest nursing union, The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) stated that in no way, they supported mandatory vaccination. The Union stated that they did “not support any member of staff being made or coerced into having the vaccine”. The union stated that the terms of conditions of employees could not be changed to facilitate mandatory vaccinations. UHS on this matter stated that employees’ pay and permanent jobs would remain protected. However, unvaccinated employees would still be redeployed.