Failure to extend visas of overseas home care workers will leave ‘huge void’ in workforce

carer holding hand of senior woman in home

At the height of the pandemic, there were times when our care workers were actually serenaded on their journey to and from service users’ homes to celebrate the valuable, essential work they were doing in order to protect our elderly and vulnerable service users. Every Thursday evening, we received a massive influx of pictures and messages from neighbours, friends and strangers thanking the care workers for their contribution during the weekly ‘Clap for Carers’.

Our Barrier Teams, who care for service users with COVID and support them to recover in their own homes, are made up predominantly from overseas workers. This essential service kept our hospitals in Hertfordshire flowing by making space for the deluge of patients being admitted to hospital with COVID. Our overseas care workers contributed massively to stop the NHS from being overwhelmed.

The government have overlooked these essential social care workers in their policy to extend oversees health professionals’ visas. Despite all that was said at the time, it seems we have returned to the previous policy, which was to separate the NHS workforce from the undervalued social care workforce. Why is our work force treated as expendable?

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