“The care sector is a vital part of our society, and this pandemic has truly brought home the skill and commitment of care workers who are looking after some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“We want to make sure everyone knows what an important and valued job care workers do, and inspire more people to step forwards to join the care workforce.
“That’s why last week we launched a new national adult social care recruitment campaign to boost the adult social care workforce in England as part of a wider plan to attract more staff into the sector.
“We want to bring together all those thinking they might work in care with social care providers looking for new recruits, and to make it as simple as possible for the doors to open up for thousands more compassionate and committed people to work in care. To support care providers who are looking to recruit staff, we are offering free initial training to applicants considering a job in care. This should help job seekers looking to work in care for the first time and their future employers. More information on this can be found in the newsletter below.
“This week we announced that all care home staff and care home residents will be eligible for testing whether or not they have symptoms. Ros Roughton, DHSC’s Director of Adult Social Care and Professor Paul Johnstone, Public Health England’s National Director have also this week jointly written to the care sector on arrangements to make it easier to get testing for social care staff and residents. More information on this is set out in the newsletter below.
“Our aim is that most people should not have to drive for more than 45 minutes to get to a regional testing site and we are rolling out additional testing methods to further support testing accessibility. This includes a network of new mobile testing units which will travel the country to reach care homes and other sites, a delivery service for home testing kits and sending packages of ‘satellite’ test kits directly to care homes across England.
“Thank you for your ongoing resilience and determination to deliver care to those who need it most throughout this pandemic. I will continue to keep you updated on progress towards our commitment to give you all you need to do your vital work during this challenging period.”
– Helen Whately, Minister for Care
Further information on COVID-19 testing in social care
All care home staff and care home residents are eligible for testing whether or not they have symptoms.
Care workers can be swabbed through regional testing centres, using home testing or mobile testing centres. Workers can be referred to these through the digital portals. Users can enter their details and will then receive a text or email the same day inviting them to either book an appointment at a regional drive-through testing site, or receive a home testing kit. Test results from the drive-through sites will be sent out by text within 48 hours, and within 72 hours of collection of the home delivery tests.
For testing of care home residents, care homes should contact the local PHE Health Protection Team who will organise swabbing and testing for residents. You can find the contact details for your local health protection team here.
Adult social care recruitment campaign launched to boost workforce
Last week, we launched a major social care recruitment drive, ‘Care for others. Make a difference’, which aims to attract people with the right values to take up work in social care, now and in the future. Under the strap line ‘We need you now. They need you always’ adverts will run across national television, radio, social media and online to inspire people to make a difference now by working in social care. Advertising will continue to signpost to www.everydayisdifferent.com where applicants can go on to search for jobs via a range of job platforms.
New recruitment campaign assets are easily downloadable and can be used to support local recruitment activity.
Care providers can use the campaign to recruit staff by making sure vacancies can be reached via the website and by continuing to recruit along pathways that are already working.
Vulnerable people get direct line to NHS volunteer army
Millions of vulnerable people and their families will be able to directly call on the army of over 600,000 NHS Volunteer Responders recruited to support those isolating during the pandemic.
The responders have been approved to help those most at risk who are isolating at home from coronavirus, with the scheme fully operational for two weeks. Healthcare practitioners, pharmacists and local authority and social care staff have been calling on volunteers to carry out around 35,000 tasks to date, including delivering medicines, shopping and other supplies as well as making calls to check in on those isolating at home.
The NHS and Royal Voluntary Service are now taking steps to make the service more personalised for people who need support and increase referrals into the programme, including enabling self-referral for those most at risk.