The Care Quality Commission (CQC) Approves WEU Clinical Exemption Certificate

The CQC has now approved the Clinical Exemption Certificate issued by the Workers of England, Wales and Scotland Union. This CQC acceptance is given below.

A Health and Careworker has received approval from the CQC that the Clinical Exemption Certficate issued by the Workers of England, Wales and Scotland is acceptable.

Thank you for contacting Care Quality Commission (CQC), the reference for your enquiry is xxxxxxxxxx

On 15 September 2021, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced a temporary self-certification process that people could use if they believed they were medically exempt from the COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of deployment duty, or had already been vaccinated abroad.  This self-certification process was put in place while the new, formal process was being developed.

The formal process for having a medical exemption agreed or declined went live on 1 October 2021 and details the steps people must follow to evidence their exemption, if it is agreed. People can still use self-certification of exemption whilst they wait for a decision, however, if their exemption is declined, they will have until 24 December 2021 to be fully vaccinated or to make other arrangements with their employer.

The criteria for medical exemptions is based on advice from The Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the Green Book, alongside wider consultation with senior clinicians. Examples include, but are not limited to, people with medical contraindications, including those who cannot have any of the vaccines because of severe allergies to them or their ingredients and people who had an adverse reaction to their first dose, such as myocarditis. The exemptions also include people with a learning disability or autistic people who find vaccinations distressing because of their conditions, alongside people who are receiving end of life care where vaccination would not be in the individual’s best interests. There are also some time-limited exemptions available to people with certain short-term conditions and pregnancy. Personal choice to not have the COVID-19 vaccination is not considered an exemption.

Although there is no legal requirement for care workers to only use the letters and forms provided on the DHSC website, it remains the most straight forward way of providing evidence of a temporary self-certification of exemption. If, however, people choose to use alternatives, such as those issued by the Workers of England, Scotland and Wales Union, it should be noted this will only be applicable until the 24 December 2021, unless they apply and receive confirmation of formal medical exemption through the government process.

It is the responsibility of the registered person (or those acting on behalf of the registered person) at the care home to satisfy themselves of the identity of the person entering the care home and their proof of vaccination or exemption status. The DHSC Operational Guidance provides further information for employers and staff members around the duty.

Anyone who believes they are medically exempt should follow the agreed process set out on the DHSC website as soon as possible.

I trust the above information is helpful, should you need anything else please get back in touch.

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is an executive non-departmental public body of the Department of Health and Social Care of the United Kingdom. It was established in 2009 to regulate and inspect health and social care services in England.