Saturday 4 November 2023

NHS Boss Criticises Healthcare Workers' Low COVID Vaccine Uptake in Leaked Letter


A member of staff poses with a phial of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Cardiff, Wales on Dec. 8, 2020. In a leaked letter addressed to healthcare organisations, the highest-ranking official of NHS Wales has criticised low COVID-19 vaccine uptake among healthcare workers.
letter signed by Judith Paget, director general for health and social services and the NHS Wales chief executive, expresses her anticipation in learning about "interventions" following her "disappointment" in COVID-19 vaccine uptake.
A solicitor told The Epoch Times that the language used in the letter is "coercive and against the principle of informed consent."

'Demand Plummeted'

Former Member of European Parliament (MEP) and now host of "The Freeman Report" on TNT Radio, James Freeman told The Epoch Times the letter was given to him by an NHS whistleblower.
Advertisement - Story continues below

He said that he believes the letter confirms that "demand for COVID-19 injections has plummeted."

"And secondly, that this puts authorities that have secured stockpiles for this winter in an uncomfortable position," he said.

"What I think we are therefore seeing in this letter is a reaction to the embarrassing prospect of wasting large amounts of tax-payer money,” he added.

The Epoch Times has seen the letter, but has not been able to speak with the whistleblower.

Initially when approached for comment, a spokesperson for NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership, the communications team for Health Boards and NHS Trusts in Wales, told The Epoch Times that this was "a matter for Welsh Government."

A Welsh government spokesperson then said that a member of press team would be in contact.


The letter, addressed to the chief executives of all NHS Wales organisations, is dated Oct. 19, 2023.

Ms. Paget writes that more than a month into the Winter Respiratory Vaccination Programme, they "have been closely monitoring the uptake across all eligible cohorts including healthcare workers." "I am sorry to say so far, that the data for healthcare workers is very disappointing so," she said.

"You will be well aware that vaccination against flu and COVID-19 is one of the best defences we have to protect our staff and support the resilience of NHS organisation this winter," she added.

Ms. Paget then adds that "anecdotally" she is hearing of reluctance to taking up the offer of the COVID-19 vaccine and is, therefore, "writing to ask each one of you to immediately review how the offer of vaccination is being promoted and encouraged across your organisation."

She added that it is "crucial that as a system we understand the barriers to uptake and work hard to break them down" and "time is not on our side." "I would ask you to act quickly on this and will look forward to hearing about the interventions you have made at the next NHS Wales Leadership Board," she said.

She added that she looked forward to seeing a "significant boost to uptake numbers in the coming weeks."

Traffic passes a COVID-19 sign informing drivers of the "firebreak" lockdown on Oct. 23, 2020 in Cardiff. (Geoff Caddick/AFP via Getty Images)
Traffic passes a COVID-19 sign informing drivers of the "firebreak" lockdown on Oct. 23, 2020 in Cardiff. (Geoff Caddick/AFP via Getty Images)

Winter respiratory vaccinations are not compulsory for NHS staff in Wales but are "strongly recommended." The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has said that a COVID-19 autumn booster vaccine should be offered to people aged 65 and older as well as frontline health and social care workers.

Staff who wish to decline the offer of vaccination are encouraged to complete an optional anonymous online form.


Commercial solicitor Mr. Lea told The Epoch Times by email that the "language used in the letter is coercive and against the principle of informed consent."

"Promoting a culture which applies social pressure to be vaccinated does not adhere to current legislation aimed to prevent discrimination and can lead to discrimination and bullying in the workplace," said Mr. Lea.

He said that in the UK, legislation enshrines the right to give or refuse consent prior to any medical treatment.

The UK Supreme Court case Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board (2015) established the principle of an individual’s right to informed consent without coercion or penalty

Mr. Lea also pointed out that there are legal rights are set out in the NHS Constitution itself, that says for example, "you should be free to accept or refuse treatment that is offered," that information regarding "risks and benefits must be available" and that decisions "should be voluntary and must not be influenced by pressure from medical staff."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.