A BOLTON MP has called for the government to compensate care staff amid an expected U-turn on mandatory vaccinations for NHS workers.

Last week The Bolton News revealed more than 500 staff at Bolton’s hospital trust could face losing their jobs if Covid jabs were mandatory despite the sector facing workforce shortfalls.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has announced a review on government’s policy on the jabs. It is expected the Tories will scrap the mandate. Mr Javid described it as “no longer proportionate".

The policy has been in place for care home staff since last November and was due to be extended to all patient-facing NHS staff in April.

Bolton West MP Chris Green said: “I’m relieved the government is set to do a U-turn on NHS workers being required to be vaccinated. I believed from the beginning that it went against ethical standards, and I always wanted to go down this route.”

Andrea Egan, Bolton Unison branch secretary,said: “[This] would be very welcome news, however my concerns are for social care. It’s disappointing the law was already in place for social care staff.”

Last year it was reported care homes were facing a staff exodus of around 40,000 people due to the requirement. Many found alternative employment and care homes were left short staffed.

Mrs Egan said: “When will the government start listening to unions and workforces? They should never have forced the workers to be vaccinated. How in-touch are they that they didn’t realise this would happen?"

Mr Green added: “There is a big question now as to why the government did not impose the same regulations as it has to NHS workers to carers. We now need to make sure the damage to the care sector is reversed as soon as possible.”

The MP is calling for the government to publicly apologise to care staff and offer compensation for anyone affected by the policy.

Cllr Andy Morgan, the borough's adult social care services boss, said: "So social care staff have to be double vaccinated to work in a care setting but NHS staff, some who visit five or six care homes a day, don’t have to be? Social care staff are the frontline too and we lost thousands of staff because they weren’t vaccinated.”