- Luke restates that social care workers need protective equipment and mass testing NOW
- Plymouth social care workers have been left behind by government for years
- After this crisis, social care workers must be rewarded with a real living wage
Luke has today joined calls for Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, to stop with symbolic gestures and give social care workers, alongside other frontline staff, proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The Mirror today led with this story, saying that “As hundreds die in care homes and staff plead for personal protective equipment, under-fire Health Secretary Matt Hancock offers them.. a badge.”
Luke has commented on this, saying:
“The care workers who have got in touch with me from Plymouth need proper PPE, proper testing and proper pay. A small badge announced a year ago and reannounced now is not on their wish list”.
There has been speculation that Hancock’s badge was intended to deflect away from the fact that, as of yesterday, just 505 care home staff have been tested compared with over 40,000 NHS workers and their families. The Guardian have reported that social care was “an afterthought” in the government’s COVID-19 response.
Luke has in the past raised the issue of support for social care prominently both in Parliament and locally. Almost 1 year ago, Luke took a delegation of Plymouth Councillors to Westminster to raise concern with Ministers about funding for children’s social care, where he met with Nadhim Zahawi MP, the then Children’s Minister, to raise this issue.
Luke has also shadowed care workers in the past to get a firsthand understanding of the difficulties facing hardworking care workers. He has consistently argued for all social care workers to be given a fair pay rise which recognised the effort they put into their jobs.