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In order to fulfil regulation 19: Fit and proper persons employed of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014, providers must only employ ‘fit and proper’ staff who are able to provide care and treatment appropriate to their role and to enable them to provide the regulated activity. To meet this regulation, providers must operate robust recruitment procedures, including undertaking any relevant checks which can include the use of a health declaration. The regulation further states that Persons employed for the purposes of carrying on a regulated activity must be able by reason of their health, after reasonable adjustments are made, of properly performing tasks which are intrinsic to the work for which they are employed.
This health declaration form incorporates Covid questions and records self-management of conditions, as well as how the service can support staff to manage conditions and any risks associated with health issues. Regulation 19 states that when appointing an employee, providers must have processes for considering their physical and mental health in line with the requirements of the role. It also states that where a person employed by the registered person no longer meets the criteria which includes health requirements, the registered person must take such action as is necessary and proportionate to ensure that the requirement in that paragraph is complied with, and if the person is a health care professional, social worker or other professional registered with a health care or social care regulator, inform the regulator in question.
Monitoring of covid vaccination status of staff is a vital part of operating in the current pandemic. Frontline health and social care workers are considered the most important people in the country to be taking up the vaccine as health care workers and those working in social care (particularly in care homes) are at much higher risk of repeated exposure to the infection and spreading of it to vulnerable people. Mandatory vaccinations for health workers are currently being considered by the Department of Health and Social Care.
Employing unfit people, or continuing to allow unfit people to stay in a role, may lead CQC to question the fitness of a provider.