“Family caregivers, already exhausted by the additional demands of Covid, will have to do even more to fill the gaps and may have to reduce their working hours or quit their jobs altogether. The NHS, which depends entirely on social support, will be in jeopardy. “
He also warned that the elderly “will wait – sometimes in distress – overwhelmed care”.
His comments come just weeks after Mike Padgham, chairman of the Independent Care Group for York and North Yorkshire and owner of Saint Cecilia’s Care Services, which operates four care businesses, asked relatives of the residents to volunteer to work at reception and serve meals though the government’s mandatory vaccination policy for caregivers has seen staff levels plunge to the point of crisis.
Pressure on Staff Intensifies
Mr Chandler, who is also director of adult and housing services for Oxfordshire County Council, warned that pressures on the workforce continued to mount and urged the government to reveal its plans for the winter.
It is understood that the Directorate of Health and Social Affairs (DHSC) is currently preparing a winter care plan to equip the services to deal with both the coronavirus and the flu.
However, local authorities have yet to be informed of any details, a source saying: “Our assumption is that either nothing is happening or work is underway to flesh out more meaningful actions.”
Last month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a controversial increase in the national insurance tax to help fund the struggling sector, as well as a lifetime cap on social care costs of £ 86,000 per person. However, the cap only applies to “personal care” costs, not to “hotel costs” such as accommodation, cleaning and food, which often account for the bulk of the care bill.