NHS Pledges Support for Staff Working as Carers during Covid-19

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Employers for Carers are delighted to announce that NHS England and Improvement have launched a dedicated package of support and online resource to all NHS staff, agency and bank workers who have unpaid caring responsibilities, outside of their paid NHS roles.

In light of COVID-19, the organisation has brought forward plans it pledged for additional help and support for existing and new staff returning to the NHS, who may also be privately caring for individuals shielding, suffering with the virus or its symptoms.

It comes as part of Carers Week 8 – 14 June, an annual campaign, led by Carers UK, to recognise the contribution of the millions of unpaid carers in the UK.

All 1.5 million NHS employees, working for NHS providers and commissioners, will have access to the Employers for Carers portal, an online resource providing dedicated information and support on caring, from Wednesday 10 June.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“With our ageing population and loved ones with disabilities living for longer, juggling paid work with unpaid care is becoming increasingly common, especially right now when many more people have started caring as a result of the pandemic

“Juggling work and care is especially common in the NHS where we estimate 1 in 5 of workforce also has an unpaid caring role for someone who is older, disabled or seriously ill. It is an incredibly tricky balancing act, so we are delighted that NHS England and NHS Improvement recognises the challenges for its staff with caring responsibilities and is putting support in place.

“With all 1.5 million NHS employees now able to access our Employers for Carers portal and our Digital Resource for Carers, they will be able to get dedicated support and information on caring all in one place, as and when they need it, through the duration of this pandemic and beyond.”

Professor Em Wilkinson-Brice, Deputy Chief People Officer at NHS England and Improvement said:

“Thousands of NHS colleagues provide ongoing care for family, partners and friends. They deserve the best support in return from the NHS and other public services. It is important that we continue to understand the needs of staff, especially during this pandemic and are able to signpost them to support available.

“No one working in the NHS should feel they are struggling with their day to day workload and coping with additional caring responsibilities as a result of Covid-19, on their own. The responsibility of giving care can take a real toll and our Long Term Plan to provide care for carers also includes our commitment to staff.”

Case studies from member organisations within the NHS in England on supporting carers within their workplace can be viewed here:

Download NHS case studies