“ Time to Care “
- We will campaign to put pressure on Wiltshire Council to increase investment in social care and to produce an Adult Social Care Strategy that addresses the mental health issues of the elderly associated with loneliness and isolation.
- We will ensure that all care workers are properly equipped with PPE and every care home has a robust and separate system of infection control.
- We will work to end all zero hour contracts in this sector and that all care workers are placed on a proper contract of employment and paid at least the Living Wage.
- We will strongly encourage Wiltshire Council to sign up for the Unison Ethical Care Charter and that this is included in all the contracts of private providers of social care, to ensure a clear staff/client ratio for care homes and care in the community and that no contracts are awarded to companies seeking to profit from social care.
- We will campaign to raise the profile of all care workers to be seen as “key workers” and that they all receive a good level of training leading to a minimum nationally recognised qualification provided by a new National College for Carers and a commitment to get all unqualified staff trained within a year.
- We will strive to develop a professional, user responsive, National Care Service and campaign for Wiltshire Council to take back control of Children Services and Care Homes.
- We will campaign to improve the provision of mental care for all care workers and service providers in the post Covid 19 era.
- We will work towards improving the liaison between hospitals and care homes in providing an efficient and sensitive system for managing elderly care and to end restricted visits to care in the community, limit the number of people allocated to each carer, ensure that visits are regular and include provision of meals and that clients can build a long lasting relationship with their carers.
The social care sector has become a forgotten sector and often seen as second class when compared to the NHS. During the Covid 19 pandemic it become evident that the sector struggled to cope with the level of infection due to lack of sufficient funding, inadequate PPE and a very poorly paid staff with little training. Despite these difficulties care workers provided a good standard of care and gave much love and time to all those within their care. In Wiltshire a tragically large number of people lost their lives in care homes during the pandemic. Although this is lower than other parts of the country it is still a very sad loss of life and the loss will be felt by many families and friends who have lost loved ones. Clearly the social care sector needs more funding to ensure proper infection control and a service of care that we can all be proud of. Care workers must be seen as “ key workers” and not be dismissed as unskilled! Proper recognition should be given to the skills involved in caring for others and training provided for all care workers that will lead to a new sector qualification. It is now time to end all zero hour contracts in the care sector and all care workers should be placed on proper contracts of employment and paid at least the “ living wage “. We need to celebrate the work of care workers, share their stories, raise their profile and fully appreciate the dedication they have shown during the Covid 19 pandemic in caring for some of the most vulnerable members of society. We need a clear strategy for social care and infection control, properly funded and delivered by a partnership of the NHS, Wiltshire Council and all carer organisations.