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09 Dec 2021

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A land fit for heroes

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

While the rest of us hunker down and try to ‘stay safe’ by dodging the virus, care workers are increasingly putting themselves and their families in harm’s way in their efforts to protect the most vulnerable people.

As are, of course, NHS workers but they usually get first crack at the kudos, along with the personal protective equipment. And let’s not forget the shopkeepers, delivery drivers and all those who put themselves at increased risk to keep society ticking over during the pandemic.

But for me it is the social care workers who are the true footsoldiers in this, embroiled as are in close combat with Covid-19; their numbers being whittled down as many contract the virus, often ill-equipped and with only the vaguest guidance in terms of battle strategy.

Other sector spokespeople have said that care workers are being used as ‘cannon fodder’ and that the loss of frail, elderly people is seen as ‘collateral damage’; But are care workers thinking ‘I didn’t sign-up for this’ as they continue to do their very difficult jobs, under increasingly difficult conditions, for the most derisory of pay? No, because for most care workers, compassion, helping those in need, putting other people’s needs before their own and ‘getting the job done’ are cardinal points on their moral compass.

Politicians are beginning to mouth platitudes along the lines of “there will have to be more recognition and reward of care workers when all this is over’, much as politicians did during the First World War when they promised those lucky enough to survive the trenches that they would return to a ‘land fit for heroes’. I suspect our care workers have learned not to put too much store in politicians’ promises.

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

2 Replies to “A land fit for heroes”

  1. It’s as well to remember that platitudes about the value of these workers aren’t limited to politicians. Their employers all too frequently sound off about it, without translating any of their warm words into hard cash. Although many of them are the prisoners of local authority rates, there are plenty – notably, in the self-funder market – who could do more, but choose not to. Lions led by donkeys, indeed.

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