The Government has argued this is necessary to stop the spread of Covid-19, without acknowledging the progress that has been made ensuring staff can change locations in a Covid secure way.
The Government launched a consultation on the ban last Friday, only allowing a week for responses. This provides very little time to hear from those affected by the changes, including from care homes themselves. The REC is urgently calling on all recruiters supply staff to the care sector to submit a response so the industry’s voice and first- hand knowledge of staffing the sector can be acted on.
Kate Shoesmith, Deputy CEO of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), said:
“A ban on agency workers moving between care homes would severely damage the care system, would be catastrophic for patient safety, and likely lead to more hospital admissions. With around 112,000 care sector job vacancies in England on any given day there aren’t enough staff to deliver the care that’s needed and agency workers are absolutely essential. Agencies have been working hard to ensure staff can change location in a Covid-secure way.
“Temporary staff adhere to the same rigorous infection control guidelines as permanent colleagues and have an equal right to PPE. Like everyone else, they are also reliant on a highly effective track and trace system to stop the spread of infection. This should be the Government’s priority if they want to protect both those being cared for and the staff in social care and the NHS.
“It is not good enough to take such a decision without enough time to hear from either the care homes, the staff or the recruiters who provide the people who have been pivotal in keeping the care system running during the pandemic. We urge those supplying temporary agency staff to the care sector to respond to the Department of Health and Social Care to ensure their voice is heard.”