Your responses directed us to write to a number of employers to highlight your concerns. In the main, employers were responsive to our requests and hopefully this reduced the stress levels in your workplace.
The biggest concern highlighted was the number of staff working in different workplaces and the potential for spreading the virus. One member reported working in a home where there was the virus and being moved to another workplace where there wasn’t the virus.
The lack of appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) was the second highest concern. Many employers were late or slow in providing the right sort of equipment for staff and residents to remain safe.
Campaign to stop the spread
UNISON recognises that Care Workers are on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19. Caring for those most vulnerable to the virus, Care Workers must be able to self-isolate if they show symptoms. Yet we know that many Care Workers cannot afford to self isolate or shield due to lack of sick pay. The only thing UNISON wants to spread is the message through social media to achieve full recognition for our hardworking Care Workers.
From the information notified to the Quality Care Commission 77 deaths have been recorded in St Helens care homes (most deaths recorded in one day 27.4.20).
UNISON recognises the impact this will have had on you but what we need to ensure is that all your hard work is recognised financially as well. The government have provided £600 million emergency funding for care homes, in part ‘to ensure that when social care staff need to be away from work for infection control purposes, they are not penalised for doing so.’
Mike Swift, Branch Secretary is concerned
‘With recent virus cases in St Helens showing an increase, I am concerned that this money may not reach our Care Workers but remain in the employers bank accounts. We need you to tell us what’s happening in your workplace. If your employer is not paying you sick pay in relation to COVID 19, then we need to take this up with the appropriate bodies and protect your health, your residents health and your community health! Let us know via email and we will contact you in Confidence. In the meantime keep up the good work and stay safe’.
Please share these links on your social media sites and help us raise peoples understanding of the valuable work our Care Workers are doing in St Helens.