Social care staff worst hit by long Covid, figures reveal

Estimated 5.5% of workforce reporting symptoms such as fatigue and difficulty concentrating several weeks after Covid infection, higher than levels in health and education, says Office for National Statistics

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Social care staff have been worst hit by long Covid among occupational groups in the UK, figures have revealed.

An estimated 5.47% of sector staff reported long Covid symptoms in the four weeks up to 4 December 2022, having first had suspected or confirmed Covid-19 12 weeks previously, showed data from the Office for National Statistics.

This was higher than the figures for healthcare (4.58%), the civil service or local government (4.46%) and teaching and education (4.12%).

The findings will add to concerns about the state of the adult social care workforce, with vacancies having increased by 52% in England in 2021-22. The ONS has previously found that people were less likely to participate in the labour market after developing long Covid symptoms than before they were infected with the virus. This impact was greatest among those aged 50 and over; the average age of adult social care staff in England was 45 as of March 2022.

The latest data also showed long Covid was significantly more prevalent among disabled than non-disabled people, with 10.07% of those whose activity was limited a lot, and 7.27% whose activity was limited a little, by health conditions, compared with 2.01% of those with no health conditions.

Across all groups, fatigue was the most common symptom of long Covid (reported by 71% of those with symptoms), followed by difficulty concentrating (49%), shortness of breath (47%) and muscle ache (46%).

The survey covered people living in private households, excluding those in care homes.

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One Response to Social care staff worst hit by long Covid, figures reveal

  1. Chris Sterry January 14, 2023 at 3:50 pm #

    This comes as no surprise to me as social care workers tend to have much closer relationships to the people they care for and more often to. Also, as fatigue is a constant condition in Long COVID it is not possible for them to do any proportion of any work within a social care workers role.

    It is therefore so much urgent for the crisis in social care to be solved, once and for all as no ‘sticking plaster’ will solve any aspect, if it ever does in any working profession.

    So Government piecemeal funding, which is that which is being proposed and it is greatly insignificant in the amount being offered. For sufficient funding has to be provided to significantly increase the rate of pay for social care workers to come into the profession and for the increased levels of pay to be sustained, then the other aspects of improvements to the employment of social care workers have to be looked at and needs improvements urgently implemented.

    To have any degree of success the pay rate has to be increased to around £14/15 per hour, with appropriate increases to the rates offered to care providers to enable them to pay these rates to their carers

    This will be a substantial investment by the Government into Local Authorities so they are able to pay the increased rates to Social Care providers. This investment will have to be £billions at least £12 billion in the first years and substantial increases for all years to come.

    Without this social care will be doomed to fail and in doing so, so will the NHS and then complete failure to all in the UK.