ADASS President, Julie Ogley, ADASS President has today called on the Government to properly prioritise adult social care and acknowledge its importance in the battle against Covid-19.
She has specifically called on the Government to recognise the role and contribution of social care colleagues putting their own lives at risk; address shortages in PPE; prioritise testing for social care colleagues and carers; and ensure that we are counting the number of cases and deaths outside of hospitals.
Julie Ogley said:
We are clear that there are two fronts in the battle against Covid-19. The first in our communities; in people’s homes, including care homes, and through social workers and social care staff together with GPs and District Nurses. The second is on our NHS hospitals. It is therefore vital that we protect both those receiving and delivering care and support.
We are therefore calling for the Government to ensure that all care staff and family carers have access to PPE when and wherever they need it. That care staff, family carers and people needing care and support, including those leaving hospital can access testing so that we can protect them, others living in care homes and millions of family carers. And that there is routine data collection outside of hospitals so that we can measure the numbers of carers and number of deaths outside hospitals.
Colleagues in social care are keeping millions of people well and at home and helping reduce the pressure on NHS hospitals. It is vital that we acknowledge, value and protect them in the amazing work that they do, the sacrifices they make and show that their lives matter.
It is only by prioritising social care we will truly protect our communities and our NHS. Or to put it another way; failure to prioritise what happens in our communities will leave millions of us at risk and the NHS unable to cope.
Note to Editors
Covid-19 has laid bare the well-established fragilities within adult social care, struggling as a result of £7.7 billion in cumulative savings over the last decade. The reality is that social workers, care staff, councils and providers are dealing with Covid-19 today, yet many providers are severely financially challenged, councils are seeking to protect their communities and the workforce is increasingly stretched. We know that everyone in social care is working absolutely flat out in a collective effort to both maintain existing care and support and to meet increased needs. They must be supported and protected to enable them to continue doing what they are doing on behalf of all of us.
What is now needed is a fuller recognition and prioritisation of adult social care by the Government. There are two fronts in the battle against Covid-19. The first is in our communities, supporting individuals and working within people’s homes, including care homes. Social care colleagues are working tirelessly, at risk to their own health, to keep older and disabled people safe and to prevent the escalation of this crisis. The second front is in NHS hospitals and intensive care units whi