‘A scandal’: Fury after hospital bosses given coronavirus vaccine ahead of front line medics

Highly paid managers allowed to jump queue: they should ‘hang their heads in shame,' says union

Colin Drury
Wednesday 23 December 2020 09:19
Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham
Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham

Bosses at one of England’s biggest hospital trusts have been told they should “hang their heads in shame” after they were vaccinated ahead of front-line doctors and nurses.

Members of the executive team at University Hospitals Birmingham were given the coronavirus jab, even though medical staff are still waiting to receive theirs.

The highly paid managers were allowed to jump the queue, the trust said, in a bid to ensure vaccine was not wasted after booked-in priority patients did not turn up.

But Unison, which represents frontline workers, described the decision as "nothing short of a scandal".

Ravi Subramanian, regional secretary in the West Midlands, said: “The trust employs thousands of staff and they're trying to take us all for fools by implying that they could not find a handful of frontline staff to vaccinate to prevent wasting the vaccine.

"Instead, these well-paid managers are prioritising themselves over front-line staff who are putting their lives on the line every single day."”

Speaking to the BBC, he added the executives should "hang their heads in shame".

People aged older than 80, frontline health staff and care home workers are currently being prioritised for the earliest available vaccines. 

Non-medical hospital managers are not considered a priority.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the trust – which runs Queen Elizabeth, Good Hope, Heartlands and Solihull hospitals – acknowledged that executives had been given the jab before all front-line staff had received it.

But they said: “As a result of a number of booked patients not attending, members of staff on shift at the hospital, including the exec team, were offered the vaccine at short notice to fill the empty slots and ensure that the vaccine wasn’t otherwise wasted.”

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