Care England call for NHS volunteers be redirected to support social care sector

Care home bosses have asked for NHS volunteers to be redirected to help them deal with coronavirus.

The sector has complained of being “ignored” amid claims the 750,000 people who offered their time to help through the Covid-19 pandemic are facing a low workload.

According to the Telegraph, the army of helpers have been given fewer than 20,000 jobs between them since the scheme officially launched last week.

Martin Green (pictured), chief executive of Care England, suggested the manpower be redeployed.

He told the newspaper: “There’s probably a care home in need much closer to where these volunteers live than their local hospital.

“But the social care sector has been ignored yet again.

“Despite all the discussion about integration, the people in the NHS only think about the NHS.”

He added: “There appears to have been a major miscalculation here.”

The Telegraph claims data shows 19,523 tasks have been handed out so far, and Tuesday was the busiest day with 3,500 people helped.

The National Care Force has asked people to sign up if they want to help care homes and they have so far had 20,000 volunteers.

However, their chief executive says talking to the Government about the issue has been “incredibly painful and slow”.

Charles Armitage said: “We have 2,000 care homes that need help with maintenance, gardening, cooking and keeping residents company. The demand is huge.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock launched the appeal for NHS Volunteer Responders to help vulnerable people who are shielding for 12 weeks.

Those who signed up were told to expect to deliver shopping and medication to those in need, transport patients and NHS equipment, or check in and chat on the phone with individuals at risk of loneliness as a result of self-isolation.

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