A new app for 1.5 million adult social care workers, has been launched to offer support throughout the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, providing staff with mental wellbeing support, Covid-19 guidance, and discounts available to them.
The Care Workforce app, developed by NHSX and the NHS Business Services Authority, will be offered to all social care workers across more than 18,000 care providers.
Being the first of its kind, the app will provide the latest guidance to help employees protect themselves from the Coronavirus, as well as providing learning resources such as practical advice and access to mental wellbeing programmes. It also features a section detailing discounts that are available to NHS staff and care workers.
Additionally, the Care Workforce app will act as a networking platform to bring social care employees together to share learnings and best practice.
The introduction of the app is part of the government’s £1.6 billion plan for local authorities and adds to the social care action plan announced on 15 April 2020, supporting social care employees with testing and access to personal protective equipment (PPE) kit.
A version of the app is also being considered for NHS employees.
Matt Hancock, health and social care secretary, said: “As part of our continued work to back the care sector, we have launched a new app specifically for care staff to make sure they have the most up-to-date guidance to keep them safe, connected with their colleagues across the country, which also allows them to access discounts like their NHS counterparts. It’s available to download right now, and I would urge everyone in social care to do so.”
Helen Whately, minister of state for care, said: “The care workforce have long asked for a single, unifying brand to connect them to each other and I am delighted that we are able today to launch this important new tool.”
Professor Martin Green OBE, chief executive at Care England, added: “This new app will help to keep the social care workforce fully informed of all the issues in social care, and it will provide an easily accessible and portable resource for every care worker”
Kathryn Smith, chief executive at the Social Care Institute for Excellence, said: “ The social care workforce has many challenges at the moment, including how to keep services running during the Coronavirus situation; but also how to ensure that issues such as safeguarding, mental capacity and rights under the Care Act are not lost.
“We’ve all been using technology a lot more in the last few weeks and I’m sure that this will be a really useful addition to help the workforce to provide the best care and support that they can during the current crisis.”
Alex Fox, chief executive at Shared Lives Plus, said: “It has never been more important for everyone working in social care to be connected with each other and well informed about the latest changes in policy. The app will help all of us with this.”
Oonagh Smyth at Skills for Care said: “Technology has proved to be incredibly valuable in keeping our workforce informed during this crisis and this new app specifically aimed at the social care workforce will help employees get easy access to the information they need.
“Hard-pressed care employees now have an app that offers them access to useful resources on the move. They can get details on offers they can take up from companies recognising the great work that they are doing and information on how they can support their wellbeing during these very challenging times.”