The contribution of agency workers in social care has been defended after a study linked the spread of the virus in care homes with the movement of temporary staff.
Charles Armitage, CEO of recruitment marketplace, Florence, (pictured) said agency workers were vital to social care and were in need of adequate PPE and testing.
He added: “It’s sad to see agency workers being demonised in the fight against COVID-19 in our care homes. Over the last eight weeks they’ve been risking their lives with inadequate testing and poor PPE coverage. Resolving those issues would do far more to prevent transmission of infection than anything else.”
His comments come after The Guardian highlighted a PHE study in April which found workers moving between care homes were spreading COVID-19.
The PHE study stated: “Infection is spreading from care home to care home, linked to changed patterns of staffing, working across and moving between homes.”
The findings of the PHE study informed a care home support package and £600m Infection Control Fund launched by the government last week which asks care homes to restrict permanent and agency staff to working in only one care home wherever possible.
The funding can also be used to meet the additional costs of restricting staff to work in one care home and pay the wages of those self-isolating.