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25.03.20

LGA: Gov should ask retired care workers back to work

The Local Government Association (LGA) has urged the government to ask retired care workers to return to work.

In a statement published today (Mar 25), the LGA highlighted the profound impact retired care workers could have on those most at risk of the coronavirus.

By asking them to return to work, council leaders believe they could provide a lifeline to an ‘already over-stretched social care workforce’.

The LGA says the government should look into supporting retired care workers back into work should they want to help tackle the pandemic.

Now more than ever, care work is providing a crucial support system for the most vulnerable in society, underpinning the work of the NHS and relieving pressure with washing, dressing and feeding those in need.

It comes after the government introduced new measures to bring doctors and nurses out of retirement to support frontline efforts, and the LGA believe this should be extended to care workers.

By facilitating more care at home wherever possible, experienced care workers could help to free up beds for coronavirus patients as more people could be discharged.

It also supports local councils by helping to care for the 1.5 million vulnerable people that government has identified as needed to stay at home for the next 12 weeks.

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

“Across the country, councils, as a fourth emergency service, are stepping up to support the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Making sure older and vulnerable people get the care and protection they need to stay safe and well is priority number one for councils.

“The recently announced funding for councils to support the most vulnerable will help councils do everything they can to ensure people are able to access vital care and support.

“The coronavirus outbreak will severely test and stretch our social care workforce, who already do a tremendous job in the face of extreme pressures.

“But supporting retired care workers to return to work could be a significant booster measure for the sector, to get through the highly challenging weeks and months ahead.”

It has been suggested by the LGA that a system is set up whereby retired care workers can contact their previous employer to see if they needed help, and the ability to contact others if they didn’t.

 

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