Never has the sentiment been as true as we navigate our way through the unchartered waters of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
A common phrase to emerge from the current crisis summarises the situation for both organisations and individuals: “While we’re all in the same storm, we’re not all in the same boat.”
The boat of healthcare is one that is feeling the choppy waters more than most. From frontline NHS staff across the country’s hospitals, through to those providing support across our care homes and social work community. They are dealing with the most vulnerable, the most emotionally testing and putting themselves at the most risk.
Unfortunately, these are areas that have been hardest hit with years of funding cuts and, as is more apparent through the reports throughout the pandemic, access to vital equipment and wider human resource.
Lisa McLean is Managing Director for Search Health and Social Care. She has been witnessing the surge in demand, a reduced capacity to deliver, and also the emerging face of some placing profit before people.
With reported cases of care homes crowdfunding to raise money for PPE and some firms increasing hourly rates by more than 200%, she is calling on the recruitment industry to stand alongside its clients and candidates and stay true to the values that support a sector with compassion.
“Across the industry, care homes are being squeezed. We have seen the awful situation where care homes are having to crowdfund to afford PPE, similarly we are seeing our peers increase the hourly rate for care worker provision.”
This is against a backdrop of an increase in demand, reduced capacity owed to many workers having to isolate following exposure and symptoms, and the emotional turmoil of dealing with vulnerable and lonely patients and residents.
“This pandemic has brought into sharp focus how we need to stand alongside both our clients and candidates in the good times and the bad.
We are seeing an unbelievable response across the Search community. Workers, unflinching, taking up positions in care homes that are sadly reporting deaths among residents. Others returning to work after recovering from their own Covid-19 illness.”
We’ve been asking our frontline Search colleagues to share their stories on their commitment to caring through the Covid-19 pandemic. It really has brought to life the innate desire to help and care, reminding us why we support the industry.
“People have long memories and this sector will remember how its suppliers helped and supported them long after Covid-19 has gone. Now is a time for compassion and to set an example across the industry, for the long term.”
Search stories from the frontline
“And I’m not scared of caring for the people who are infected. It is my job and my duty to care for them. Those residents were alone, no family or visitors allowed, and they have all seen the news.
I am compelled to see these people recover. And if they don’t, I’ll be there because their loved ones can’t.
We have to help these people. Because that’s our job, nursing those who need us.”
“At the moment, the most difficult area of my job is caring for some of the most vulnerable individuals while knowing there is no cure.
Every day we are putting ourselves and our families at risk – the exposure to contracting Covid-19 is clear and present at all times.
It’s really hard working in a home where families or friends cannot visit their loved ones, only being able to see them through a window. It’s even harder knowing you physically can’t help – but that’s why we strive to make them comfortable and give them the care they deserve.”