LGA: ‘Call up retired care workers’

As first was going to press, the LGA was calling on ministers to consider how they could help retired care workers who may want, or be able, to return to work.

While the Government has introduced measures for doctors and nurses to come back to the NHS and social workers to social care to help frontline services during the coronavirus outbreak, it has not yet extended its thinking to care workers.

Bringing back experienced care workers to the profession would help support people discharged from hospital to free up beds for those being treated for COVID-19, according to the LGA.

It would also enable councils to better support the 1.5 million vulnerable people identified by the Government as most at risk from coronavirus and needing to stay at home for 12 weeks.

Even if some of these staff were to return to work, it would significantly strengthen the ability of the social care workforce to provide the much-needed support vulnerable people will require in the coming weeks and months ahead.

The recently retired would not need much in terms of refresher training. And the sector could set up regional contact groups so that returners could join other employers if their original employer didn’t need them.

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


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