The Care Workers’ Charity welcomes the considerations and suggestions of the Care Quality Commission’s ‘State of Care’ report released earlier today.
The report provides an important overview of the impact that Covid-19 has had on a broad range of health and social care settings; both on those who receive services, and those who work in these sectors. However, we find it disappointing that more thought was not given to supporting the social care workforce in their cited recommendations.
At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, The Care Workers’ Charity raised around £2m for our Covid-19 Emergency Fund. The existence of this grants stream has only been necessary because care workers who have had to shield and or/self isolate are struggling to survive on the statutory sick pay they receive. Due to unprecedented demand, this staggering amount of money has lasted for just 6 months. The need that we at The Care Workers’ Charity have met through this grant (benefiting 2,300 care workers) is a drop in the ocean compared to the huge number of those in crisis.
We therefore call on the government to ensure that care and support workers receive full pay throughout the pandemic, regardless of whether they are isolating or not. The infection control funding is not enough, and doesn’t support every care worker to meet their financial needs. This is not good enough- no one should be forced into financial crisis in this way- least of all, key workers on the frontline of this devastating and terrifying pandemic.
Care workers across the country are putting their lives at risk, and on hold, in order to care for others. They do this whilst experiencing stress and trauma as they try to cope with a ‘new normal’. It is already clear that increased incidences of insomnia, depression, anxiety and PTSD among the social care workforce are now commonplace- as they continue to lose colleagues, family members, loved ones and those they are caring for to this horrendous disease. They have, and continue to, sacrifice so much in their roles-not enough is being done to support them in return.
The Care Workers’ Charity calls on the Care Quality Commission to report comprehensively on the wellbeing of the social care workforce in their reporting and actions- as it is indisputable that this is an issue that directly affects quality of care. We cannot expect care workers to deliver care of the highest quality, if they are not treated with dignity and respect themselves.
As noted in ‘State of Care’, the pandemic represents a point of pivotal change and reflection- we can and must do better by our social care workforce.