Government u-turns on plans to ban social care staff moving between care homes during the pandemic

Due to the high reliance on locum workers, the ban could have had a negative impact on patient care unions warned.

Matt Bodell
27 May 2021
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Unions claim the plans were an attempt to blame social care staff for the crisis.

The Government has u-turned on plans to prevent care home staff from moving between care homes in England.

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Earlier this year, the Government announced plans to prevent nursing staff and other care home workers from moving between care homes in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Unions claim the plans were an attempt to blame social care staff for the crisis rather than tackling the root cause of the problem.

As the social care sector has a high reliance on bank and locum workers who often move between care settings,  the ban could have had a negative impact on patient care, the RCN warned.

A significant negative effect.

Patricia Marquis, Registered Nurse and Acting RCN England Director, said: “The Government’s climbdown is the right decision.

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“We warned last year that this move would have had a significant negative effect on social care staff who may have felt they were being scapegoated for spreading Covid-19 when in fact they are integral to safe and effective care measures to stop cross infection.

“There is a workforce crisis in social care and a ban would have compounded an already-difficult situation.

“A ban would have undermined safe, person-centred care and punished unfairly diligent care home workers.

“The Government needs to come up with a long-term plan for the health and social care workforce urgently.”

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