The forgotten frontline: We can’t forget about social care, we need it

11th April 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak is affecting all parts of society, but it is especially difficult for the most vulnerable in our communities. Raleigh alumni Hector, who currently works in social care, discusses the urgency of action to tackle the crisis affecting social care and the ways you can support the sector during the pandemic.

Working as a Care Assistant is a very fulfilling job in which you care for some of the most vulnerable in our society. You make a real difference in their day to day lives. But working in this sector is not without its challenges in the current times. As we face the COVID-19 pandemic I am currently working shifts to help during this crisis with Leonard Cheshire, the UK’s largest provider of health and social care services for disabled people.

Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, chronic under-investment for over a decade has  left Social Care in a fragile and precarious state. COVID-19 has pushed it close to breaking point.

In England, there are over 122,000 social care vacancies, meaning many providers are understaffed. This is a real problem in ensuring consistency and high-quality care for highly vulnerable people who need stability in their lives. Social Care workers are often underpaid, undervalued and under extreme pressure, despite being a vital part of our health care system.

Since the outbreak began we are yet to see a comprehensive set of measures to support adult social care. Action is needed to overcome the fragmented nature of social care and steps need to be taken to develop a coherent national response which ensures enough funding, staffing and PPE is provided to Social Care providers across the UK.

Social care is the ‘forgotten’ front line in this fight against COVID-19.  The social care sector is crucial in preventing the most vulnerable in society contracting the virus. But we can only do that if we are given adequate support by the government. This means that social care workers need to be being tested and supplied with the correct PPE.

There is much to be done on a government level, but YOU can also help on a local level:

Join the Workforce

If you are wanting to make a difference, you can become a care assistant or support worker. Many social care providers are in desperate need of workers, whether you have been furloughed or are currently unemployed there are so many opportunities and vacancies available.

Advocate

Ensure that your friends, family and community are aware of the difficulties going on in social care. Contact your MP, let them know you support urgent action in tackling the social care crisis.

Donate

 There are many fantastic charities such as MHA and Leonard Cheshire working on the frontline of social care who need your support, if you can please donate to them. Please also consider local social care charities, as many are in vital need of funds to continue to be able to provide their services.


The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every corner of society. If there is a topic you want to share your perspective on, then get in touch at blog@raleighinternational.org 

Related posts