The Local Government Association (LGA) is calling on the government to consider how it could help retired care workers return to work.
A spokesman for LGA said, following the success of schemes that saw doctors and nurses return to the NHS to combat the coronavirus outbreak, government should implement similar measures to encourage retired care workers to return to the social care sector.
The spokesman said bringing experienced care workers back to the profession would help to support people discharged from hospital to free up beds for those being treated for coronavirus.
It would also enable councils to better support the 1.5m vulnerable people identified by the government as most at risk from coronavirus who were instructed to stay at home for 12 weeks.
Retired workers looking to return could, for example, be asked to contact the employer they retired from. The sector could also set up regional contact groups so that returners could join other employers if the original employer didn’t need them.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: ‘Across the country, councils, as a fourth emergency service, are stepping up to support the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus outbreak.
‘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 recently announced funding for councils to support the most vulnerable will help councils do everything they can to ensure people are able to access vital care and support.
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.’
The Department of Health and Social Care has been approached for comment.
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