The majority of unvaccinated care workers who fear losing their jobs as a result of mandatory vaccination ruled did not receive the jabs due to poor working conditions, a University of Sheffield study reveals.
It is well-known that the working conditions and pay for care workers are exceedingly poor and I can quite believe that these are some reasons why some care workers did not get vaccinated, no sick pay being another valid reason. These areas need to be rectified, but this is again down to the Government, yes, the same Government who introduced this no vaccination policy.
Why is it down to Government, well Social care is mainly financed by Local Authorities, (LAs) paying Care Service Providers so they in turn can pay their care workers. But to do this LAs rely to a large extent on the Government Grants they receive to finance Social Care and many other areas under the control of LAs. But since 2010 LAs were subjected to austerity cuts by successive Tory Governments, for 10 years to force them to make saving where in most instances there were not savings to be made, except by reducing funding for essential services with social care being made. LAs had to make many redundancies within their own workforces meaning services to residents where also reduced and maybe even cost much more.
Currently these cuts have not been dealt with by this Government in reimbursing LAs for all the funding, which in my view was taken away without due consideration on how services would be continued, So with costs increasing to inflation as well as salary increases with regards to at least increases in the National Living Wage, which were required, but it is not in any way a ‘Living Wage’ for from it and taxable as well, surely the Tax free allowances should be as the National Living Wage.
Now we see from the University of Sheffield study this austerity legislation and the inability or down-right refusals to reimburse these cuts is leading to persons not complying with other legislation from this Government re COVID vaccinations.
Care workers, especially in Care Homes have been considerably let down by this Government, letting COVID patient be discharged from hospitals is but one let down. But it is not just care workers who have been let down, but also the persons in need of care and also their families.
MPs are saying they can’t exist on their salaries, which are far in excess of those for care workers. There is already a large insufficiency of care workers and this will only make matters worse.
Not only that, but the problems in social care caused by the Government are also affecting the NHS for people are becoming more sick and hospitals are having bed shortages as there is not the availability of aftercare for persons who could be discharged from hospitals.
Care is interrelated within health and social care for one can’t exist without the other.
Hospitals are again in crisis, but this Government is still unwilling to reintroduce mandatory wearing of face covering and social distancing, surely the least this Government should do.
This Government is failing in all areas, is it a ‘Nero Government’, Emperor Nero was supposed to have ‘fiddled while Rome burnt‘. well it is looking like it is fiddling something or is that just ‘Boris’.
Social Care needs much more additional funding and while I agree everyone in all aspects of front-line care should be vaccinated, is mandatory really the only way.
Some 3 years ago I and 2 other Learning Disability Family Carers agreed to help a University of Sheffield student with her thesis for her PHd. A post was created on one of my other blogs 61chrissterry re the initial stages of this project where we used the principles of Co-production and the post can be found here.
Since that post was issued we met regularly and we analysed the information obtained from the various workshops at our event on 20 October 2017. From this analysis we eventually created a number of documents which we all felt would improve communications between Learning Disability Family Carers and the range of Service Providers.
In order to ensure the documents we created could be used we met with a range of service providers.
Initially we arranged a meeting at Sheffield City Council with Learning Disability Commissioners and representatives of Sheffield Adult Social Services, who viewed the documents and suggested some minor alterations for our consideration.
We then had a similar meeting with some home carer and Supported Living Service Providers, who also made some minor alterations for our consideration.
Over a few weeks we considered the suggestions mentioned from these 2 meeting and made adjustments accordingly.
By this time a meeting had been arranged with some representatives from Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group and at this meeting they asked if they could use these documents with their ‘For Pete’s Sake’ campaign they were launching, to which we agreed.
In addition they offered us a 15 minute presentation slot on their ‘Assisted Technology event on the 28 June 2018. While our documents had nothing to do with assisted technology we did accept their kind offer and did attend their event and gave our presentation.
At the start of this co-production Rachael enquired through Sheffield Mencap & Gateway for carers of persons with Learning Disabilities to work with her on her PHd project. During the last 18 months we have had regular meetings at the University of Sheffield on how we would proceed with this project and what our initial outcomes would be. Initially through general discussions, which Rachael was recording, it became clear that the recurring situations was around carers communications with the range of Service Providers. Within the context of Service Providers it included Sheffield Adult Social Care through Sheffield City Council, various health providers ( being GPs, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Community Health, and many other health areas) together with the independent Care Providers including charities, voluntary and private independent providers.
So that we were not restricted around our own views we decided to create 2 surveys, 1 to be completed by LD carers reflecting on their interactions with Service Providers and the other survey to be completed by Service Providers reflecting on their interactions with LD Carers. The surveys were created on Survey Monkey and during their creation we had a number of meeting to discuss how these were to be formed, the number of questions to be included and the specific questions. When we were all satisfied with both surveys they went live on Survey Monkey and electronic links were disseminated through our various range of contacts within Sheffield, UK.
We also discussed how we wished to to use the information from these surveys in addition to the original outcome for Rachael’s thesis. and decided we would wish to do this in a form of a presentation. We looked at possible dates and venues and obtained costings and also viewed each venue and then using co-production decided which venue to book and how we would advertise the event and provide a means for LD Carers and Service Providers to book to attend the event, which we did through Eventbrite and agreed on a format for a flyer and a website (Carer Voice) and the event title being Carer Voice Working Together.
Thank you for coming today and now you have seen the presentation and been involved in the workshops in which carers and service providers have worked together. This is how it should be for we are all here for the same reason, to ensure vulnerable persons, be they be our relatives or not, have provision to ensure their needs are met and they can then led their own lives.
Communication is but one key, but an extremely important key and without it all that is there can fail.
If you wish to be included in the mailing/distribution list please advise your email address. While this was produced with carers in mind, it does not mean that service providers cannot be included. Information sent will include areas relating to disability both local and national as well as notes for the support meetings.
Lunch is now ready and there are some leaflets from a selection of providers please view and take away and continue to network throughout lunch.
Do not forget to put on a post it the message you are taking away from this event and an evaluation form will be emailed to you, please return with your comments.
Our thanks to
University of Sheffield, Department of Human Communication Sciences for funding the event
Sheffield Central Fire Station for the room
Healthwatch Sheffield for the pens
After the Carer Voice : Working Together event we sent the following email to everyone who attended the event and also to those persons who could not attend but did express an interest in the event.
“We just wanted to get in touch to give you an update on the work we are doing following the Working Together Event in October.
As a group we have met once to go through the feedback and will be meeting again in December. Where we will start drafting some standards and guidelines for communication between family carers and providers of service based on the information you gave us.
In early 2018 we will email these to you for your feedback. If you would not like to receive these emails then please do let me know and I will remove your name form the mailing list.
We are also planning to pull together a small working group in the New Year to ensure the standards are accessible and practical. If you would be interested in being in this group, please do let us know. It will consist of 2 to 3 meetings at the University of Sheffield.
Please also find attached some information about care workers in the independent and charity sector and the flu vaccine which we hope will be of use to you.
If you would be interested in receiving a copy of the presentation we gave on the day please do get in touch and I will send this to you.
We have now met in December and have started drafting some standards and guidelines for communication between family carers and providers of services based on the information given to us during the Carer Voice : Working Together event.
The draft documents were produced.
So we could enage with service providers we held 3 meetings.
Intialy we met with representatives of Sheffield Adult Social Carer and Sheffield City Council Commissioning who viewed the documents and made some comments regarding some minor alterations.
The second meeting was with some service care providers who also made some contructive comments.
The final meeting was with representatives of Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, who also welcomed the documents and wished to use these in conjunction the their ‘For Pete’s Sake’ campaign’ and offered us a 15 minute presentation slot in the Assistive Technology event on the 28 June 2018.
Chris gave the presentation at the event and it was very appreciated by the atendees.