What it’s like to work in social care during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
30 April 2020
“To anyone considering working with us … please do not allow Covid 19 to dampen your enthusiasm for helping the most vulnerable members of your community. If you want to make a positive difference to people’s lives, now is the time.” Tim Wright, Support Worker
Working in social care is an extremely rewarding role, and working with Exemplar Health Care brings lots of benefits and rewards – but we also know that there are lots of stories in the media about care homes and Coronavirus (COVID-19), especially around Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
We want to reassure anyone who’s considering working with us, that we have robust infection prevention and control measures in place, including adequate supplies of PPE, and that we’re supporting all of our colleagues in the best way that we can during these challenging times.
How we’re keeping our colleagues safe at work
We’ve put strict measures in place to reduce the risk of the virus in our homes. When you first start working with us, you’ll receive training about our infection prevention and control measures so that you know how to keep yourself and others safe.
Our teams are working around the clock to ensure that everyone has the right equipment to do their jobs safely and with minimum risk. Currently, we have enough PPE stock to cover our homes for many weeks to come, and are continually sourcing new supplies.
Tim Wright is a Support Worker at Maypole Grove in Birmingham. He shares: “When Coronavirus (COVID-19) started to become more widespread, the initial feeling I had was that my castle might come under attack at any moment - I worried about the most vulnerable individuals.
“However, there is a lot of information and guidance within the home. We have PPE on-site, regular updates, and we maintain open lines of communication. We’re all extremely vigilant which ensures that we stay safe and virus free. Our manager, Aaron, is an approachable fella who remains up-to-speed on safety issues, day-to-day staffing, and all health-related matters within our environment. We’re a solid team at Maypole Grove - we’re holding strong.”
How we’re supporting colleagues throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
In recognition and as a thank you for our colleagues’ hard work, we’ve introduced 'We Care' - a package of additional support which includes:
• free meals for all colleagues during shifts
• a takeaway pizza delivery for all colleagues, each week
• free food ordering service with a 10% subsidised discount
• financial support for colleagues whose children get free school meals
• travel assistance
• flexible holiday arrangements for colleagues who are unable to work
• the option to trade your holiday entitlement for a one-off payment.
We’ve also recently increased our wages in line with the increase to the National Living Wage, so that everyone earns at least £8.72 per hour regardless of their age and experience.
We hope that this additional support will help our key workers to continue to come to work and ease some of the additional stress and worries at this unprecedented time.
Tim continues: “It’s a scary moment but we feel supported, and beyond that we feel that our efforts are appreciated by our employer, which is a great morale-booster.
“To anyone considering working with us, I would say pick up the phone or make contact online, and ask the questions that you feel are important. Please do not allow Covid 19 to dampen your enthusiasm for helping the most vulnerable members of your community. If you want to make a positive difference to people’s lives, now is the time. Exemplar Health Care will support you, provide you with the information and equipment you need to perform your role safely and effectively, and embrace you as a valued member of your chosen home.”
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