The Local Government Association (LGA) wants the government to consider asking retired care workers to return to work to help support those most at risk of the coronavirus outbreak.
It would provide a much-needed boost to an already over-stretched social care workforce, it said.
Experienced care workers would be able to help support people discharged from hospital to free up beds for those being treated for coronavirus, and also enable councils to better support the 1.5 million vulnerable people identified by the government as most at risk from coronavirus and needing to stay at home for 12 weeks.
While the government has introduced measures for doctors and nurses to return to the NHS and social workers to social care in its Coronavirus Bill, the LGA said the government should extend its thinking to care staff.
‘The coronavirus outbreak will severely test and stretch our social care workforce, who already do a tremendous job in the face of extreme pressures,’ said Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s community wellbeing board. ‘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.’
Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said earlier this week the care home sector needed help if it was going to continue to support some of society’s most vulnerable.
‘There are many jobs and volunteering roles in the adult social care sector and we encourage those who are able, or whose circumstances have changed, to consider working or volunteering in care. Social care needs you,’ Green said.