Care Sourcer, the UK’s first comparison and matching site for elderly care, has announced that it is launching a free Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) for all UK care professionals.
The free programme, provided through Health Assured and initially funded by Legal & General, is available to employees of both domiciliary care and care home providers.
The EAP will provide a support network that offers advice and guidance 24/7, covering a range of issues including mental or physical stress, bereavement of residents or clients they have formed close bonds with, money worries, and general low morale.
Stress, depression, anxiety and sickness are highly prevalent amongst care workers and can force them to take extended time off work, according to a new report. In many cases, it leads to high turnover of staff.
Care Sourcer estimates that around 800,000 care workers, many of whom face daily challenges such as stress and depression, will benefit from the EAP.
Announcing the launch at the NACAS event for Professional Care Workers Day yesterday, Andrew Parfery, CEO of Care Sourcer said: “Care workers are local heroes; they dedicate their lives to caring for others but often there is no one to care for them in their time of need. Stress and depression, a lack of confidence and anxiety are all big challenges facing people in the care workforce.
“At Care Sourcer, our goal is to use technology to help create a fairer care system that is easier for those seeking support to find the care their loved ones need, but we also want to get behind the UK’s care workers. Many often go above and beyond to help the people they are looking after and we’re proud to offer our support by providing this free EAP that can help those working in the care sector in their own time of need.
“Improving the retention of staff is central to creating a better care system. Our EAP will support providers to better the work-life balance of their caring staff, supporting them in their time of need, and ultimately help care homes and at home care companies to build sustainable, quality-driven businesses.”
Care Sourcer is free for people seeking care and searches thousands of registered care providers across the UK to bring a list of local care providers to users within 48 hours.
Legal & General will fund the EAP for the first 12 months of its operation. Last year, the FTSE100 financial services company announced it was investing £6m in Care Sourcer, before launching its care-focused Retirement Living Solutions division earlier this year.
Steve Ellis, CEO of Legal & General Retirement Living Solutions: “We invested in Care Sourcer as we want to help transform the care sector by making it better for both those in need of care and the care workers that work so hard to support thousands of people across the UK.
“Our Group Protection business has long supported EAPs as an effective initiative to tackle stress and depression amongst employees and ultimately help them return to work sooner.
“For Legal & General, supporting Care Sourcer’s EAP launch is another positive step towards our long-term aim of building a better, fairer society for all.”
Richard Muncaster, CEO of The Care Workers’ Charity, offered his support for the EAP, saying: “Our own research shows that care workers often face challenges with finances, mental health, care needs at home, and not feeling valued, so news of a free employee assistance helpline for the sector is very welcome. Now all care organisations, regardless of budget, can offer care workers professional support to talk through any personal challenges, and provide guidance on how to get further help.”