Care England has sent out a call to arms for an army of social care workers to support society’s most vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak.
The call follows the government’s plea for retired nurses and doctors to return to work with the campaign slogan ‘Your NHS Needs You’.
The independent body said it wants to complete this message with the line “Social Care Need You Too”.
CEO Professor Martin Green said: “The adult social care sector too will require the support of the nation in the coming months if it is to continue to support some of society’s most vulnerable at these most worrying of times.
“We encourage those who are willing and able, to do so by joining the adult social care workforce. Our message is that social care is still open for business – social care needs your help.”
Care England is calling upon retired staff with experience in the adult social care sector to engage in this national effort to keep social care operational.
Secondly, it is urging those who are currently not working – particularly those in catering, hospitality or air travel, as a result of the outbreak – to support the adult social care sector.
Care England is also encouraging the UK’s population to utilise the provisions made within the Coronavirus Bill with regards to ‘Emergency Volunteering Leave’, and for those who have previously worked in the adult social care sector to “reclaim their skills”.
Green warned that rising levels of coronavirus-related absences combined with high levels of vacancy rates in the adult social care sector has the potential to create a “perfect storm”.
“However, with your help we can act to avert such a reality and the negative implications it would have upon some of society’s most vulnerable individuals,” he added.
Commenting on Care England’s call to arms, UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: “The care workforce is already being hit hard, so extra support is welcome as long as it’s done safely with trained people.
“But the priority for the government has to be ensuring care employers allow current staff to follow health guidance.
“Getting personal protection equipment (PPE) to the right places, ensuring people can self-isolate and making sure staff are paid fairly are issues the government must get a handle on urgently.”