The government recognises the dedication and commitment shown by all our care workers and organisations to keep people with care and support needs safe during these unprecedented times. Care workers, caterers, cleaners, nurses, occupational therapists, personal assistants, registered managers, social workers, and others, all have a crucial role in ensuring that people’s needs are met during this challenging time.
There are examples across the country where people are going above and beyond what could be expected under normal circumstances. Whilst most of the country is now expected to stay at home, this has not been an option for those providing care and support, who are a vital lifeline to people most in need.
Social care staff will be concerned about several things, including but not limited to:
- For some, entirely understandably, the desire to continue to provide high quality services will result in worry or anxiety – particularly when absences among colleagues are adding to individual workloads.
- Social care staff will face challenges caused by the pandemic in their personal lives too and will be worried for themselves, and their own families. This worry is heightened for those who are, or have dependents at home who are, considered to be clinically ‘extremely’ vulnerable and therefore have been advised to shield and take additional protective measures at home.
- Whilst not all care workers have high-risk dependents, there are many who will have school aged children and are balancing an increasing workload, looking after children and being less able to take time off
- During a time where we are told to practise social distancing, the feeling of isolation will inevitably increase amongst those working alone in isolated services, including personal assistants and home care workers.
- Many registered managers are struggling to maintain resilience during a time of increased pressure and difficult decision making.
- We recognise the significant anxiety surrounding access to personal protective equipment (PPE). It is important that all of those providing care and support feel protected whilst doing their job.
- There will be some care workers that are having to take time off work and may be facing additional financial worries as their financial support has been less than their usual pay.
While this is only natural it is important that, as far as possible, we safeguard the wellbeing of those who work in adult social care.
This guidance includes tips, advice and toolkits that employers and managers can use to help build the resilience of their team and address any concerns their staff may have.
There is also a section that provides guidance on how all those working in social care can manage their personal mental health in the current circumstances.