Skills for Care launch Day of Remembrance and Reflection

Skills for Care have joined with 20 other social care bodies in England to launch the new Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection.

Supported by the Department of Health and Social Care and the Minister of State for Social Care, Helen Whately, the memorial day will honour the work of the adult social care workforce throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and remember those who sadly lost their lives.

The first Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection will be held in March 2022.

Twenty-one organisations came together to launch the memorial day after the adult social care workforce experienced a particularly challenging 18 months.

It is intended to honour the tireless work and huge sacrifices made by social care workers during the pandemic as well as to remember the estimated 922 staff members who tragically lost their lives to Covid-19 between March 2020 and May 2021.

Tributes to remember care workers

Tributes to care workers can be shared on The Care Workers’ Charity website, where they have launched a dedicated Memorial Wall and Thank You Wall.

Care providers, care workers and those who use care and support services are also encouraged to honour the day through other activities, such as by planting a tree in honour of a lost care worker, holding a minute’s silence or creating a piece of art.

The CEO of Skills for Care, Oonagh Smith, said the workforce development charity was “delighted” to launch the Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection, which would thank social care workers for their crucial care and support.

She added:

“As we lead up to the day itself in March, we encourage those who work in social care, those who draw on care and support, and all members of the public to share their tributes to those people in the social care workforce who have had a positive impact on their lives and communities, through our online Memorial Wall and Thank You Wall.

“We look forward to marking the day in March – a day which is sure to be one of mixed emotions as we reflect on the vital contribution of the social care workforce during the pandemic and at all times, and we encourage as many people as possible to join in and ‘Remember Social Care’ on this day.”

Meanwhile, Helen Whately, Minister for Care, spoke of the “bravery of the social care workforce.”

She said:

“Our hearts go out to the families, friends and colleagues who have sadly lost loved ones and we will take this time to honour and remember them.

“We have worked to protect health and social care staff throughout the pandemic and we will continue to support them and their families in any way we can.”

Supporting adult social care through training

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading, national training provider.

They deliver over 7,000 courses each year in the fields of health and safety, first aid, fire safety, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care and other special focus topics.

Care home residents are at higher risk from coronavirusTheir diverse portfolio includes training awards designed for health and social organisations, such as Infection Control and PreventionSafeguarding AdultsDuty of CareEquality, Diversity and InclusionUnderstanding Mental Health and many others.

First Response Training are a Skills for Care Endorsed Learning Provider for the delivery of classroom, e-learning and webinar training to the social care workforce.

As an Endorsed Provider, FRT have also recently been awarded grant funding to provide free Covid-19 Essential Training for adult social care workers, including Rapid Induction training for new starters, Refresher Training Programmes for existing staff and an exclusive Volunteer Training Programme for all volunteers in the sector.

A trainer from FRT explains:

“We know first-hand from the many organisations we work with that the social care workforce are hard-working and dedicated to providing high quality, safe and compassionate care for those they support. They have been through an incredibly challenging time and wholeheartedly deserve this recognition and thanks.”

For more information on the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to

Call to care campaign launches

The public are being urged to consider and apply for both short and long-term work opportunities in the adult social care sector as well as volunteer roles.

The Department of Health and Social Care have launched the next phase in their national recruitment campaign for the sector, which features television, digital and radio advertising aimed at increasing awareness of long-term career opportunities within adult social care.

In addition, the government is also urging people to register their interest in completing short-term paid work to support the sector during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The ‘Care for Others. Make a Difference’ campaign is part of the long-term recruitment drive and seeks to highlight the rewarding, varied and flexible roles available across the adult social care sector.

It aims to build a sustainable workforce for now and the future.

CQC publish annual state of care reportEmployers in adult social care can upload details of their vacancies to the DWP ‘Find a job’ platform. They can also access a number of resources, such as expert advice and templates, to run their own local recruitment activity and maximise the awareness generated by the national campaign.

The campaign website features a badging device, enabling employers to co-brand their own materials and link up with the national recruitment drive.

A campaign newsletter is available to keep people up-to-date.

Meanwhile, the ‘Call to Care’ campaign is targeting jobseekers, volunteers and furloughed workers to register their interest online for short-term paid work opportunities in adult social care.

The campaign has been launched in order to support care homes and home care services to meet additional staffing requirements during the remaining winter months.

It comes as absence rates have more than doubled across the workforce in recent months due to self-isolation requirements as the new Covid-19 variant makes its presence felt across the country.

Care workers have taken risks during the pandemicLocal authorities and local adult social care service providers will receive details of registrants so that they can contact candidates directly.

Exact roles available will be based on experience, local need and at the discretion of the local authority and local care providers.

Candidates will receive required training, such as in Infection Prevention and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), be supported with DBS checks and will receive Covid-19 vaccinations in line with key worker status and the priority vaccine scheme.

The Minister for Care, Helen Whately, said:

“Since the pandemic began, we’ve seen thousands of wonderful people step forward to volunteer for the NHS and take part in our truly tremendous national vaccination effort. Today, I’m asking people to step forward to help in social care too.

“We need more people who want to play their part in this pandemic to choose social care. There are thousands of opportunities, from short-term roles to long-term careers.

“Jobs in the care sector are hard work, but they can also be incredibly rewarding. When you get home from work you know you’ve made a real difference for the people you care for. I know we can’t thank you to care workers too many times for what they do.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock also commented:

“I am urging the public – whether you are a jobseeker, or looking for a new career – to consider working in care.

“We need short-term support while we face the pandemic and to continue to recruit the right people with the right values, now and into the future.

“Great progress has been made on offering vaccines to all older care home residents and care home staff and this recruitment drive will help us continue to fight this terrible virus.”

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading, national training provider. They deliver over 7,000 courses each year in the fields of health and safety, first aid, fire safety, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care and more.

Their health and social care range includes Infection Prevention and Control, Health and Safety, Dignity in Care, Duty of Care, Safeguarding Adults and many more.

There's been an increase in domiciliary care jobsA trainer from FRT says: “The adult social care workforce is full of dedicated, compassionate workers who are committed to supporting others to lead fulfilling, dignified lives.

“They deserve so much recognition for the hard work they’ve put in over the past 12 months – and the risks they’ve taken on – and it’s vital that they are supported as they continue to navigate the ongoing pandemic and the impact this has on staff numbers.

“Anyone new to social care must complete the Care Certificate standards and should receive further training in key topics to ensure they can provide high-quality care which is safe and person-centred.”

For more information on the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to

Funding boost to support social care sector

The adult social care sector is set to receive a £269 million funding boost to help protect and support staff and those receiving care.

There's been an increase in domiciliary care jobsThe funds will be split, with a new £120 million fund to enable local authorities to boost workforce capacity and a £149 million grant system to support lateral flow device testing in the sector.

Announced in December 2020, this grant is designed to increase rapid Covid-19 testing of care staff and facilitate safe care home visits from loved ones, where possible.

It comes as the new, more transmissible coronavirus variant has led to a sharp rise in staff absence rates, as care home and home care staff test positive or are forced to self-isolate due to contact with a confirmed case.

Known as the Workforce Capacity Fund, the £120 million fund for local authorities is being made available to:

  • Provide additional care staff where shortages arise
  • Provide support for administrative tasks so that experienced and skilled care staff can focus on providing care and support for residents and those receiving care in their own home
  • Help existing staff to increase their hours, if they wish, through the provision of overtime payments or by covering childcare costs

Infection prevention and control guidance on staff movement in care homes is also being reinforced, with providers reminded that it is vital that they continue to follow the rules in order to keep staff and residents safe.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the fund would “bolster staffing numbers in a controlled and safe way, whilst ensuring people continue to receive the highest quality of care.”

He spoke of the hope offered by the vaccination programme, and explained:

“Many local authorities across the country already have staffing initiatives in place to increase capacity and address staffing issues. These include care worker staff banks where new recruits are paid during training, re-deployment models where DBS checked staff are trained and moved into operational roles, and end-to-end training and recruitment services.

“The £120 million fund will ensure such initiatives can continue, and help other local authorities implement similar schemes.”

Care workers have taken risks during the pandemicMr. Hancock added that the £149 million grant would support care providers with the costs associated with “setting up safe testing areas, providing staff training and will contribute towards staff time spent administering and receiving tests.”

Local authorities must pass on 80% of this funding to care homes on a per beds basis, with 20% able to be used at their discretion to support the sector in delivering additional lateral flow device testing.

Minister for Care Helen Whately praised care workers for “doing the most amazing job throughout the pandemic,” adding: “In challenging circumstances, they have been caring for some of the people most at risk from this virus with compassion and skill.”

She explained:

“Increased staff testing remains a critical part of reducing transmission. Care homes currently have access to 3 tests per week for their staff, with daily testing for 7 days in the event of a positive case to protect staff and residents.

“Care homes will have additional lateral flow devices to test individuals working in more than one setting before the start of every shift.

“Restricting staff movement remains critical to minimising the risk of transmission. In response to the government’s consultation, the sector called for an increase in staffing capacity instead of regulation to achieve this goal.”

Meanwhile, the CEO of Care England, Professor Martin Green, said they were “pleased” the government had listened to the care sector’s “deep concerns about banning staff movement.”

He added:

“We want to work with the department to ensure the staff capacity fund delivers to the front line and is suitably flexible to reflect the crisis whereby providers are struggling with staff illness and absenteeism in the same way as their colleagues in the NHS are.

“Staff are our most precious resource and we want to do all that we can to support them, especially in these incredibly difficult times.”

First Response Training (FRT) is a leading, national training provider. They deliver over 7,000 courses each year in the fields of health and safety, first aid, fire safety, food hygiene, mental health, health and social care and more.

Their health and social care range includes Infection Prevention and Control, Health and Safety, Dignity in Care, Duty of Care, Safeguarding Adults and many more.

Care homeA trainer from FRT says: “We work closely with many local and national care providers and know that they have been having such an incredibly tough time during the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK.

“Those who work in care work incredibly hard to provide person-centred, dignified and compassionate care, even in extremely challenging circumstances.

“It is fantastic news that the sector will receive extra funds to help support and protect these dedicated workers and the people they work to support.”

For more information on the training that FRT can provide, please call them today on freephone 0800 310 2300 or send an e-mail to