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Let’s hear it for social care workers – and get more testing!

Posted by cornwallcare on March 18, 2020

Blog written by Anne Thomas, CEO of Cornwall Care

There is understandably a huge amount of focus on NHS frontline staff at the moment and they are of course critical during one of the biggest global health emergencies on record. But what about our social care staff?

The thousands of people across the country who are selflessly continuing to play a vital role in helping the vulnerable and most at risk members of our society survive this virus? There seems to be very little said about them and yet they are the ones going into people’s homes and staffing care homes − generally doing everything they can to stop this crisis becoming a catastrophe.

Like their NHS colleagues, social care workers are having to abide by government guidelines to self-isolate if there is a suspected case of COVID-19 in their family, which means not being able to work with the people they look after day in, day out. That’s why we need more testing. If they haven’t been infected, they can continue their essential task of keeping the elderly and vulnerable comfortable, well and happy.

The same is true for our care home residents. If they display any symptoms or are generally unwell, we’re being asked to isolate them – even though we don’t know whether or not they have the virus. The protocols involved in doing that are of course labour intensive from a care point of view and require a lot of skill. Testing would help ease that challenge.

Isn’t it ironic that a few short weeks ago our government labelled those who work in social care as ‘unskilled’? Now they appear to be ignoring them by shining the spotlight almost exclusively on the NHS. In my opinion, social care workers rank alongside doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants in the ongoing battle to control this pandemic – a joint frontline force that requires support, attention and resource.

They are all providing a critical service and we’ve never needed their expertise, dedication and commitment more. 

‘‘In my opinion, social care workers rank alongside doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants in the ongoing battle to control this pandemic − a joint frontline force that requires support, attention and resource.’’