PLAID Cymru Shadow Minister for Transformation of Public Services Delyth Jewell MS has questioned what preparation work is underway by the Welsh Government following Scottish care worker recruitment drive announcement.
Following the announcement of the Scottish recruitment scheme for up to 200 new care workers to build a more resilient workforce, Delyth Jewell has urged the Welsh Government to strengthen its own care workforce as part of preparations for a potential spike in COVID-19 cases.
Ms Jewell noted that the Welsh Government must be “more proactive” in putting in place concrete mechanisms to build resilience ahead of a potential spike in the winter months and make the public aware of such plans to build public confidence.
Plaid Cymru’s shadow minister also noted that “more needs to be done” both to ensure that there is the capacity for vulnerable people to receive care throughout a potential second spike and to improve the working conditions of care workers who have proved themselves as “absolutely fundamental” to society.
Delyth Jewell added,
“If we are to be prepared in the face of a potential second COVID spike in the winter months, the Welsh Government must be more proactive in putting in place concrete mechanisms to build resilience and demonstrate transparency by making the public aware of such plans.
“The carer recruitment scheme announcement in Scotland is an excellent example of such a mechanism – similar arrangements here would provide relief for a workforce hit amongst the hardest during the pandemic and would demonstrate the appreciation held for them.
“The Welsh Government needs to meet rhetoric with action by acting in the interest of this workforce which have proven themselves as absolutely fundamental to society. Let’s not forget that many care workers are still awaiting their promised bonus payment and of course will receive far less than originally promised – something has to change.
“By strengthening the care workforce the Welsh Government would not only be preparing for what’s to come but would also give existing care workers an opportunity to utilise annual leave and have some respite after an extremely trying time.
“Working conditions have to be improved for care workers, and this could be a great first step in doing so.”