A new dedicated app for the adult social care workforce in England has been launched to support staff on-the-go through the coronavirus pandemic.
The social care workforce is spread across 18,000 providers and it can often be difficult to communicate with all staff in one clear way. The Care Workforce app, developed with NHSX and the NHS Business Services Authority, will be introduced under the new CARE brand and will act as a single digital hub for social care workers to access relevant updates, guidance, support and discounts from their phone.
The CARE branded app comes in response to calls from the sector for a more unified and connecting brand, and can be downloaded on Apple and Android supported smartphones or accessed by browsers on any device.
New mental wellbeing guidance will soon be published to further support the care sector with bespoke advice for care workers. This guidance will be signposted on the Care Workforce app when available. The tool will be the first of its kind provided for the care workforce, and will:
- act as a single one-stop-shop providing the sector with all the latest guidance, wellbeing support and advice they need to protect themselves from COVID-19 and keep themselves well
- provide access to learning resources on crucial areas such as infection control as well as practical advice and support for mental wellbeing
- show how care workers can take advantage of offers available to NHS and social care staff, including free car parking and discounts through organisations and initiatives like Discounts for Carers and the Blue Light Card
- signpost free access to apps like Silvercloud, Daylight and Sleepio, which can help boost users’ mental wellbeing through programmes covering sleep, stress and resilience
New mental wellbeing guidance will soon be published to further support the care sector with bespoke advice for care workers. This guidance will be signposted on the Care Workforce app when available.
It builds on a cash injection of £1.6 billion for local authorities, as well as the recently launched social care action plan, which set out a series of measures including ramping up testing and access to personal protective equipment (PPE).
Helen Whately, Minister of State for Care, commented: “The care sector is a vital part of our health and care front line and this pandemic has shone a light on the skills, commitment and dedication of our care workers.
“The Care Workforce app is there to help those front-line care workers ‒ from providing the latest news and guidance, to sharing stories to draw inspiration from in challenging times, and as a way of connecting colleagues from Cornwall to Carlisle. I hope it will help unite people working in care across the country.
“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 under the CARE umbrella.”
In the future, the app will act as a networking platform to bring the social care workforce together in one place to share learnings, best practice and inspiring stories from across the sector
A version of the app is also under consideration for NHS workers.
This follows the launch of the social care action plan, which set out a range of measures to protect staff and residents living in care homes.
The workforce will be expanded by 20,000 through a new recruitment campaign, while NHS nurses and student nurses are being deployed to support social care sector where appropriate.
Care homes are being supported with new ways to order PPE, with millions of items delivered so far. Care staff, alongside residents, are now eligible for testing, whether or not they have symptoms, and since this was announced on 28 April over 30,000 tests have been delivered.