London councils are hiring more carers to look after the capital’s most vulnerable residents during the coronavirus outbreak.
Boroughs have launched a campaign to recruit extra social care workers to meet growing demand – particularly to help those recovering from the virus.
Social care works closely with the NHS, looking after the elderly, disabled people, and those with mental health problems or recovering from illness.
But the sector is stretched, with more than 120,000 unfilled posts in England, a vacancy rate of 7.8% – rising to 9% in the capital.
And with limited access to personal protective equipment for staff, and virus tests for patients and care home residents, social care is feeling the strain.
The Proud to Care campaign now sees London’s 33 local authorities call for more staff to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak – with a new jobs website advertising vacancies.
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Roles include care home workers, cleaners, cooks, occupational therapists and social workers – and 29 posts have been advertised so far.
Web applications will match jobseekers with local roles, and there will be free online training available.
Councillor Ray Puddifoot, London Councils health lead, said applicants “really could help protect the NHS and save lives” in their communities.
He said: “I’m proud of the vital role that care workers across London have played in supporting our most vulnerable residents at this hugely challenging time, and these frontline workers will become even more critical in the weeks ahead.
“By urgently recruiting more people to the sector, councils in London are taking action to ensure they can keep giving the right care and support to the growing number of people who need it.”
The new jobs site is proudtocareLondon.org.uk