The Lincolnshire Care Association (LinCA) is calling for more government support for the social care sector amid the coronavirus outbreak. The cry comes in response to the increasing government funding pledged to help businesses and the NHS to weather the storm. In comparison, little has been promised to assist care organisations, who are on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 and are crucial in protecting vulnerable people during this challenging time.
Melanie Weatherley MBE, Chair of LinCA, says: “Although we’re pleased that support is being provided for the NHS and for businesses, we urge the government not to forget about the social care sector.
“There are 1.4 million staff working in care homes and for home care organisations who are vital in caring for the most vulnerable people in society, who need their carers now more than ever.”
Care organisations in Lincolnshire and the UK as a whole are feeling the pressure of the coronavirus pandemic. Home care providers across the country are struggling to reach service users for a multitude of reasons, such as staff having to self-isolate, needing to care for dependents, or becoming ill themselves. Organisations are having to think about restricting the range and number of calls they conduct, with cases needing to be prioritised in order of urgency – a call no home care provider wants to make – while care homes have been forced to ban visitors to stop the virus from spreading.
Despite these issues, Lincolnshire care providers and their staff have been doing everything they can to ensure the health and wellbeing of their service users.
Melanie added: “The NHS is full of amazing people doing amazing work, but so is social care.
“Integration between social care and the NHS is the best way to ensure the health and well-being of our most vulnerable – not just during times like these, but all-year-round.
“We’d like to see a more coherent approach to the issue of COVID-19, with a similar commitment made to social care that has been made to the NHS.
“Local government and care providers need the same immediate financial support to maintain their services, which in-turn will reduce pressure on the NHS.”