Statement from Kari Gerstheimer, CEO and Founder of Access Social Care, a charity providing free legal advice and information to the social care sector.
The Government’s U-turn on mandatory vaccinations for NHS and social care staff is a step in the right direction, but it is too late for thousands of care workers who have lost their jobs and found higher paid work in a different sector. We might have lost these skilled workers – some with decades worth of invaluable experience – forever.
Where was the urgency and concern for the social care sector when an exodus of staff was predicted in November? Since then, the sector has been decimated by the policy, with 40,000 staff having lost their jobs.
Problems with recruitment and retention of care staff impacts hundreds of thousands of older and disabled people with social care needs – we know of families and individuals who are struggling to find staff to help them care for their loved ones or themselves.
Social care staffing must be treated as seriously as NHS staffing. Without this, both systems will collapse.