England’s adult social care workforce is set to benefit from a new app launched by the government to support them through the coronavirus pandemic.
The Care Workforce app, developed by NHSX and NHS Business Services Authority, is designed to act as a single digital hub for social care workers to access relevant updates, guidance, support and discounts from their phone.
It has been introduced under the new CARE brand, launched to unify the sector, and can be downloaded on Apple- and Android-supported smartphones or accessed by browsers on any device.
The app will provide access to learning resources on areas such as infection control, as well as practical advice and support for mental well-being.
It will also demonstrate how care workers can take advantage of offers available to NHS and social care staff, including free car parking and discounts through organisations and initiatives like Discounts for Carers and the Blue Light Card.
And it will signpost free access to apps like Silvercloud, Daylight and Sleepio, which can help boost users’ mental wellbeing through programmes covering sleep, stress and resilience.
New mental wellbeing guidance will soon be published to further support the care sector with bespoke advice for care workers. This guidance will be signposted on the Care Workforce app when available.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said: “Our incredible social care workforce are on the frontline day and night providing quality care to the most vulnerable in our society during the most unprecedented time in our history. The whole country is incredibly grateful of the work they continue to do for our loved ones.
“As part of our continued work to back the care sector, we have launched a new app specifically for care workers to make sure they have the most up-to-date guidance to keep them safe, connected with their colleagues across the country which also allows them to access discounts like their NHS counterparts.”
Commenting on the launch, Kathryn Smith, chief executive at the Social Care Institute for Excellence, said: “It’s more than welcome to see an app like this that’s specifically designed with the adult social care workforce in mind.
“That workforce has many challenges at the moment, including how to keep services running during the COVID-19 situation; but also how to ensure that issues such as safeguarding, mental capacity and rights under the Care Act are not lost. We’ve all been using technology a lot more in the last few weeks and I’m sure that this will be a really useful addition to help the workforce to provide the best care and support that they can during the current crisis.”
Alex Fox, chief executive of Shared Lives Plus, said: “It has never been more important for everyone working in social care to be connected with each other and well informed about the latest changes in policy. The app will help all of us with this. Shared Lives Plus is working closely with the Dept Health and Social Care through the pandemic and we encourage everyone working in Shared Lives to sign up.”