Our focus During Covid-19 is not nursing the dying, but saving lives for living
I know many in our field of social care work have found it so difficult during this dreadful pandemic to cope with being unnoticed. Yet again social care in the community has been put at the bottom of the pile and until recently been overlooked by politician, public services and the media just to name a few.
This has raised the inevitable questions of who values the lives of the vulnerable members of our communities. And when there are those who go out of their way, committing their working lives to supporting the vulnerable people in our society, who then values those people?
We have heard, seen and many colleagues are shocked at how NHS staff are being praised constantly for their work, paid so much more yet required to demonste the same skills, commitment, dedication and compassion in their everyday work as social care staff are.
Daily accolades are paid to the NHS nurses and Doctors nursing the dying in this terrible time. And yes, saving lives as well, when people pull through. However, many colleagues across social care are now saying “but isn’t that their job? Isn’t that what their profession is all about?” no one is denying that they do a good job and that the NHS isn’t a great institution. But during this terrible time, they are doing their job, being paid for it and doing it very well indeed.
At the same time those working in Social care also have a professional and critical key role, that being, supporting people to live safely. Their role is to try to save lives from being contaminated by this virus and support very vulnerable and often extremely confused people to live safely.
Tragically society doesn’t see our Social Care and Support Services as important as our Health Care Services. Yet there is very little difference in their actual purposes both are to safeguard life, both workforces work extremely hard, work long shifts, suffering a poor work life balance, face enormous dangers, need to constantly train and improve the way they undertake their work.
In fact, in these times with less than 50% of people going into hospital with Covid-19 we learnt today, are not coming out alive, there is no difference just two sides of the life spectrum:
Health Care Services are about trying to save life whilst nursing the dying
Social Care and Support Services are about trying to prevent exposure to Covid-19 and develop vulnerable people’s lives - saving lives for living and not focusing on nursing the dying.
Therefore we need to unite, not fight, together as one team in these terrible times – fight away Covid-19 and value all those essential key workers together equally