High COVID-19 deaths among care staff ‘shocking’, says UNISON

Christina McAnea says many staff still going into workplaces where protective kit is unavailable

Responding to figures released today (Monday) by the Office for National Statistics showing death rates involving Covid-19 are significantly raised among care workers and home care staff, UNISON assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said:

“These shocking figures reveal how care staff are literally putting their lives on the line by going to work.

“Their jobs can’t be done without getting up close to the vulnerable and elderly individuals they care for in residential homes and in the community.

“Having access to personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential for employees and residents. It’s a scandal many care staff are going into workplaces where safety kit is still unavailable or locked away.

“Care staff who should be shielding or self-isolating are being pressured into attending work by unscrupulous employers or because they can’t get by on less than their full wages.

“And to top it all, government advice on PPE for the care sector remains inconsistent and confusing. This is simply unacceptable nearly two months into the lockdown.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

Media contacts:
Sophie Goodchild M: 07767 325595 E: s.goodchild@unison.co.uk
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: l.chinchen@unison.co.uk