‘Whatever it takes’ should not just be for the NHS – it’s time we rewarded care workers equally, too

The NHS may be getting all it asks for, but it has taken almost two months for the plight of the fragmented care services and the care homes to command attention at all, writes Mary Dejevsky

Thursday 23 April 2020 19:33
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irst there was the testing and equipment panic. And now the social care panic. One by one, the coronavirus emergency is exposing the inadequacies of our supposedly envy-of-the-world healthcare: its lack of capacity; its hopeless procurement and distribution system – described by none other than the head of the army, General Sir Nick Carter, as “the single greatest logistic challenge” he had faced in all his 40 years of service – and the twilight world that is the provision of care for those people with long-term needs.

Could it be that the reality of poorly paid carers, dashing from one home to another, last in line for protective clothing and excluded from the shopping privileges available to NHS staff – let alone from their job security, career progression and pensions – will finally be seen for the disgrace that it is?

More to the point, can we hope that it will not just be seen as a disgrace, but also recognised as a situation so intolerable and so urgent that it will actually be addressed forthwith?

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