Somerset decision risks Covid care home spread, says UNISON  

No one with Covid should be going in to work

Commenting on reports that Somerset County Council is to allow staff testing positive with Covid to continue looking after elderly care home residents, UNISON head of social care Gavin Edwards said:

“No one with Covid should be going in to work, and certainly not into workplaces with vulnerable people.

“Only recently, care home staff were being sacked for not having the vaccine. Now those testing positive are being told to carry on caring for elderly people, despite the obvious dangers.

“The families of care home residents will be horrified. The lives of their loved ones are being put at risk in the most reckless of ways.

“Covid tore through care homes in the early days of the pandemic and many lives were lost. This must never happen again.

“Earlier this week high-street retailer Wilko had to back down and apologise after telling positive staff that they could still go to work. Somerset County Council must not make the same mistake. Its policy must be reversed before it’s too late.

“The staffing crisis in care is putting councils in an impossible situation as Covid rates rise. The government must attract more people to the sector, starting with an above-inflation wage rise and full sick pay for every care worker.”

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.