Agincare home care worker shares COVID experience with MPs

October 21, 2020

(Published 21 October 2020)

Jo da Silva, a home care worker from our Ferndown branch, was invited to share her experience of the COVID-19 pandemic with the virtual Health and Social Care Select Committee on 20 October.

The committee members, led by former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, interviewed a series of expert witnesses as part of their investigation into workforce burnout among NHS and care staff.

Following reports about the pressures placed on frontline workers before and during the pandemic, the committee asked Jo how she felt her job had changed during lockdown.

Jo gave a heartfelt description of the critical role played by home care workers. Workloads increased as they took on some medical duties from GPs and district nurses who weren’t visiting people’s homes. In addition, many clients have relied on their home care workers to take on the role of family members, sorting out shopping and being a friendly face.

Jo Da Silva

“Service users are allocated a certain amount of time but we found ourselves staying there for much longer periods of time and taking on extra duties”

Jo also explained that she and her colleagues were still reassuring clients anxious that they wouldn’t get the care they desperately needed.

When asked about Agincare’s support of its care teams, Jo described herself and her colleagues as ‘lucky’. Agincare had made sure there were regular calls and emails for care workers, including support for their mental health.

Jo also explained that care workers had come together into little ‘families’ to offer support and help each other offload.

Jo described that a real positive coming out of the pandemic was that the public’s eyes had been opened to what care workers actually do. More people understood now that social care was so much more than personal care.

Jo emphasised that care workers have consistently gone above and beyond and deserved to be recognised on a par with other medical professions.

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