Association of Directors of Adult Social Services president Anne Williams has led tributes from sector leaders to the social care staff in flood-affected areas of southern England.
Williams cited a “quiet heroism” of care workers, who had “selflessly” helped people in need across Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and other affected regions as they maintained services and provided emergency support.
The Adass president added that while there may be “issues for the future”, there was “strong anecdotal evidence” emergency planning procedures had been successful.
Anne Williams particularly praised staff and managers in care and nursing homes, some of which had to be evacuated, for instance in Oxfordshire, where some residents were temporarily moved to Oxford United’s Kassam Stadium and others to rest centres or other homes.
Oxfordshire Council’s director of social and community services, John Jackson, said staff had managed to keep all day centres and supported living schemes running, and also maintained home care services.
Gloucestershire Council social services director Margaret Sheather praised independent sector home care and care home workers for keeping services going despite, in some cases, lacking water or electricity. She said social care staff had also been organising the delivery of water to vulnerable people’s homes, through the Red Cross, military and volunteers.
Ian Johnston, chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers, said: “Emergencies bring out the best in people and social workers are the same. The flooding has made major demands on people in social care and it’s a measure of the way they go about their work that it’s been largely hidden.”