Matt Hancock has confirmed government plans that could see coronavirus vaccines a “condition of employment” for care home workers in England.

Staff in care homes with elderly residents may be required to get a coronavirus vaccine, the Government has said.

The Department of Health and Social Care has launched a consultation on making Covid vaccination a condition of deployment for care home staff.

A five-week consultation has been launched as Mr Hancock said the government had “a duty of care to those most vulnerable to Covid-19”.

The five-week consultation will seek views on the proposal, any potential impact it could have on staffing and safety, how it could be implemented and who could be exempt.

Staff, care providers, residents and their families and other stakeholders are being urged to take part.

Announcing a consultation on making vaccination a condition of deployment for staff in older adult care homes, Health and Social Care Secretary said: “Older people living in care homes are most at risk of suffering serious consequences of Covid-19 and we have seen the grave effects the virus has had on this group.

“Making vaccines a condition of deployment is something many care homes have called for, to help them provide greater protection for staff and residents in older people’s care homes, and so save lives.

“The vaccine is already preventing deaths and is our route out of this pandemic. We have a duty of care to those most vulnerable to Covid-19, so it is right we consider all options to keep people safe.”

A decision is expected to be made this summer.