Existing social care problems ‘exacerbated’ by pandemic

Existing problems with social care were ‘exacerbated’ during the first months of the pandemic, according to a new study.

The study by the TLAP Insight Group found that while social care workers did their very best to respond to the pandemic, some pre-existing issues like a lack of investment were made worse by the crisis.

The report also found that the experience of people accessing care and support was mixed.

While some reported pro-active, flexible and personalised approaches to their care and support, others fared less well.

Families with a relative living in a care home experienced loss of contact and fears for their loved one’s safety.

Other people said there were also concerns around PPE and testing at all levels.

Cancellations of respite and day services also added to increased pressures, particularly on carers, and Shared Lives members.

And others reported reduced care packages and cancelled support, although the report notes that ‘picture is mixed at a local level’.

‘This important report shines a light on the huge pressures faced by carers and their families during the first phase of the pandemic where support structures fell away almost overnight,’ said Carers UK’s director of policy, Emily Holzhausen.

‘It also gives us the key ingredients to make a difference for people needing care and their families as we face winter with Covid-19 on our doorstep.’

Looking forward, the report says there is a need develop an understanding of what both local and central government can and should do to create the conditions for community support to flourish and be sustained, so that everyone and every place is included.

This means taking practical action to address care and health inequalities, the report adds.

‘This report underlines the experience of people being a part of continual learning about COVID-19,’ said TLAP chair, Clenton Farquharson.

‘We started with a lot of unknowns, which allows us to be “forgiving” and generous about omissions, as long as they are not repeated as we move through the next difficult phase of the pandemic.’

 

Photo Credit – PIRO4D (Pixabay)

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