Chair of the Relatives & Residents Association (R&RA), Judy Downey, says the adult social care workforce is in urgent need of proper resourcing to tackle the coronavirus.
Speaking exclusively to CHP, Judy said social care appeared to be at the end of a long list of government priorities.
Judy commented: “Although it is not surprising that concerns about acute and intensive care should be dominated by NHS and medical concerns, it is deeply worrying that factors of great concern to care providers, care workers and their clients seem to have been given short shrift, not to mention the many valid concerns of relatives and friends.
“If the NHS is to do its job effectively for those in need of intensive care, ensuring that adult social care is properly resourced to support people in the community, including care homes, is vital.”
Judy said coronavirus testing for the sector’s 1.5m strong working was “essential” adding many providers had still not received “desperately needed” PPE to prevent transmission of the virus.
The R&RA chair also highlighted that the workforce, many of whom who are on minimum wage with zero hours’ contracts, face minimal support in the event that they become ill, with a recent poll showing that many of them feel they have little choice but to show up for work.
Judy also stressed the importance of safeguarding the interests and needs of those receiving care at the end of their lives, given government advice to restrict contacts to a minimum.
“Best practice guidance on supporting people with technology would be helpful, but many do not have access to appropriate devices and they cannot meet all situations,” Judy said.