Are Care Workers Getting the Support They Deserve?

COVID-19 is an unprecedented global health challenge that has changed almost everything about how we live our lives. In spite of this, the social care sector has endured but at what cost? Karolina Gerlich, Executive Director at The Care Workers’ Charity, discusses...

Throughout the pandemic, care workers across the country have shown remarkable bravery and sacrifice in putting their lives at risk, and in some cases on hold, in order to care for others. Many are working in unfamiliar roles and workplaces, and face unprecedented stress and trauma as they try to cope with a ‘new normal’.

Research documenting the impact that COVID-19 has had on frontline care workers has referred to this crisis of mental ill health as ‘the second pandemic’. We should caution against viewing this is as merely a sensationalised statement, as there is no doubt the effects of the pandemic on mental health are very real, especially for the many care workers on the frontline of the disease. Reported impacts include increased levels of insomnia, anxiety, stress and depression, whilst incidences of those experiencing trauma and PTSD have increased exponentially.

However, although the issue of care workers’ mental health has only recently become more visible, it has been a long-standing concern for the social care sector.

- 40 -

In 2019, the Care Workers’ Charity embarked on an extensive piece of research to identify the challenges faced by the social care workforce, gathering the experiences of 200 care workers- covering a range of organisational settings, sizes, models, age groups and service lengths.

The report, titled ‘The Beating Heart of Care’, identified mental wellbeing as the most prominent concern for the greatest number of care workers. Findings showed that 42% of care workers were experiencing stress “oſten” or “most of the time” and 51% of care workers were considering leaving their role because of the effect of the job on their mental health. A further 72% had experienced bereavement directly as a result of their work, which was noted to have a huge subsequent impact on mental health.

Concerns about personal finances due to low income, and perceptions of not having enough time to “do the job well”, were also highlighted as having a cumulative negative effect on mental wellbeing.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46