Care Workers Risk Being Forgotten Again Post Covid

Care Workers Risk Being Forgotten Again Post Covid

Key workers in adult social care in Lincolnshire risk being forgotten as the world returns to normal following the Covid pandemic.

That’s the view of Melanie Weatherley MBE, Chair of the Lincolnshire Care Association, who spoke yesterday at the association’s annual conference in Lincoln (Monday 31st July).

The theme of the conference, staged at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln, was ‘Coming out of the shadows of Covid: What could social care look like in the next decade?’

At the event Ms Weatherley called for care workers to be paid more to recognise the importance of the work they do.

“At the height of the Covid pandemic, care workers were recognised as key players in the health and care system – they were included in the applause on the doorstep and really seemed to be valued for the skilled work that they do,” she said.

“As life has returned to normal, we are at risk of becoming once again the unrecognised and unrewarded Cinderellas of health and care.

“The dedicated workers who support the most vulnerable members of our society with amazing skill and patience are often seen as being just there to support discharges from hospital. But they do much, much more than that.

“The loving way in which they encourage and support individuals to maintain their independence and enable them to continue with their interests and try out new ones is about living life to the full, not just staying alive.

“It is a wonderfully fulfilling job to do, but that does not mean that it should not be well paid.”

Delegates at the conference reflected on the past year and looked towards the future, in particular looking for ways to improve recognition for the contribution that the care sector makes to the local economy, as well as the critical role that it plays as a support to the NHS.

Discussions also took place on the increased use of digital technologies in care and record keeping, research-based practice, and integration with local NHS colleagues to support them with discharge and other challenges.

The conference speakers were:

  • Melanie Weatherley MBE, Chair of the Lincolnshire Care Association
  • Glen Garrod, Executive Director of Adult Care and Community Wellbeing, Lincolnshire County Council
  • Martin Fahy, Director of Nursing, NHS Lincolnshire Integrated Care Board
  • Professor Mo Ray, Research Director, University of Lincoln
  • Professor Derrick Ward, Director of Public Health and Visiting Professor of Public Health, Lincolnshire County Council
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