The Labour Party has proposed a new emotional support system for England’s 3.1 million social care and NHS staff.
The ‘Care for Carers’ package was unveiled by Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP (pictured), Shadow Minister for Mental Health, who’s calling for the “inadequate” mental health support given to NHS and care staff to be overhauled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
She said the service would offer a hotline that carers could call if they felt the need for emotional support.
The 24-hour line would be staffed by paid professionals seven days a week and would offer follow-up support to those who use it.
This would include assessments and support from specialists in PTSD, addiction and more.
The Labour Party says the current support available is “inadequate” because it does not cover private sector staff doing NHS and social care work, and there are long waiting lists and significant regional variations.
Allin-Khan said: “Even before the pandemic hit, the case for investing in this kind of support was clear. Coronavirus has exacerbated the existing crisis in mental health. We need to care for our carers.
“It is time for the government to give back to those who have sacrificed so much to keep our loved ones safe. Unless our staff are protected, they cannot continue their vital work of keeping us all safe.”
Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, has voiced its support.
Chief executive, Martin Green, said: “Care workers are the front line, they need and deserve a centralised support service where they can glean emotional support.
“COVID-19 has put even more emotional pressures on adult social care workers and it is of paramount importance that we support them.
“Our staff are our biggest and best resource and need to be treated accordingly.”