All social care workers in Wales are to be sent a card that will potentially help them access the benefits available to key workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The card has been produced in response to reports from social care workers on the front line, who say it can be difficult to prove they are social care key workers.
Social care workers are essential to support vulnerable individuals in every community in Wales, and in helping ease pressure on the NHS, yet they say they cannot always easily purchase food for the individuals they are supporting or for themselves and their families.
The social care worker card is being sent out from Wednesday, 15 April, to those on the Register of Social Care Workers we manage. It will also be made available to those who currently not registered via their registered managers, heads of service and senior managers
To help social care workers potentially benefit from the card as soon as possible, it is being given to them in two formats – digital and hard copy.
Sue Evans, our Chief Executive, said: “Social care workers are playing a vital role in caring for adults and children in our communities, including our most vulnerable people, during this unprecedented crisis. They are supporting people to stay safe and well in the community, and therefore helping relieve pressure on colleagues in the health service who are treating people with acute symptoms of COVID-19 in our hospitals.
“Social care workers are making similar sacrifices to those working in hospitals by working long hours and shifts, which gives them little time to do their shopping for essential food and provisions.
“Social care professionals are highly-skilled in supporting individuals, yet many are on relatively low pay. Being able to access beneficial offers could have a significant impact on them during this pandemic. Giving them preferential access to goods and services could also have a much wider benefit, as they are often shopping for several vulnerable individuals or for a whole care service, rather than for themselves.
“I therefore strongly urge retailers and other organisations to show their appreciation for the social care workforce in Wales, for their commitment in keeping our most vulnerable safe, by formally recognising this card and giving them the same benefits as other key workers.”