Update: Vaccination as a condition of deployment (VCOD) for all healthcare workers



Classification: Official

Publication approval reference: C1575


  • ICS leads
  • All trust (acute, community, ambulance, mental health):
    • Chief Executives
    • Chief Operating Officers
    • Chief AHPs
    • Chief Nursing Officers
    • Medical Directors
    • Chief People Officers/HR Directors
    • Chief Dental Officers
    • Chief Pharmacists
    • Directors of Estates
  • CCG accountable officers
  • CCG HR Directors
  • PCN Clinical Directors and GP providers
  • All NHS Primary Care Dental Contract Holders


  • Regional Directors
  • Regional Directors of Commissioning
  • Regional Directors of Primary Care and Public Health Commissioning
  • Regional Directors of Performance and Improvement
  • Regional Chief AHPs
  • Regional Chief Nurses
  • Regional Medical Directors
  • Regional Chief People Officers
  • Regional Chief Pharmacists
  • ICS chairs
  • Chairs of NHS trusts and foundation trusts
  • CCG Chairs

31 January 2022

Dear colleague

We would like to thank all those colleagues who have taken up the offer of a Covid vaccination along with all those who have supported them to do so.

Huge effort has been put in to increasing the already high take-up among NHS staff, whether through one to one conversations or the many other methods deployed. This is very much appreciated.

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself, your family, your colleagues and, of course, your patients from the virus.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have always been clear that staff have a professional duty to do so.

As you know the Government passed legislation requiring vaccination as a condition of deployment which was due to come in from 1 April 2022. However, today the Secretary of State has announced that this is being reconsidered.

Next steps

The Government’s decision is subject to Parliamentary process and will require further consultation and a vote to be passed into legislation.

We are aware that, based on the guidance already issued to the service, you will have begun to prepare for formal meetings with staff on their deployment if they remain unvaccinated. This change in Government policy means we request that employers do not serve notice of termination to employees affected by the VCOD regulations.

There is currently a live SITREP request which is due for submission on 2 February. We request that this is still completed with the exception of the details in relation to service impact, which are no longer required.

Thank you for the leadership we have seen at all levels of the service as we planned to introduce this Government policy together with the continued support for vaccination as the most important defence against the virus.

Yours sincerely

Amanda Pritchard | NHS Chief Executive

Prof Em Wilkinson-Brice | Deputy Chief People Officer

Prof Stephen Powis | National Medical Director

Ruth May | Chief Nursing Officer, England

Dr Nikita Kanani | Medical Director for Primary Care