The Covid-19 pandemic, in certainly my generation has been one of the greatest challenges to the UK. Since lock down on the 23rd March, the countries landscape has changed dramatically, and as we begin to see some resemblance of normality the long terms effects that it will have on the country and population moving forward is still yet to be fully recognised.
Luckily the Senior Management team at SP had a business continuity plan in place, and prior to the government lockdown, we managed to ensure that all our staff were set up virtually to ensure we could give our clients and candidates the best possible service throughout these challenging times. Working from home had mixed opinions, and for those of us that had children, it was lovely to see more of them, but we have certainly found a new found respect for educational professionals. Personally trying to get a 4 year olds attention for more than 5 minutes was difficult.
Throughout the last 4 months, we have seen some harrowing stories in the news, and truly as a company our thoughts go out to anyone that was affected or lost a loved one to this horrendous virus. However we have also seen the respect and a true understanding nationally of what health and social care professionals deliver and go through on a daily basis. This was highlighted for the ‘clap for carers’ movement, and our own personal #thankyousocialcare that started trending, and we were proud over the weeks to award a voucher and special mention to someone that went over and above the line of duty.
Whereas other recruitment companies were furloughing staff, our consultants were at home ensuring that our candidates were looked after, and supported throughout. The majority of our candidates saw their current roles continue, with obvious changes to ensure that visits could be done virtually where possible, and to ensure that the service users received the best possible outcomes. There were areas of increased demand geographically, and also an influx of care workers to support authorities with the care of people discharged from hospital. The pressures on all staff was visible, but the resilience, compassion and dedication made me proud to work in this sector. Simple initiatives like NHS Support saw 750,000 people register, tripling the required number.
As restrictions were lifted, we saw some element of normality return. Senior leaders that were tasked with dealing with demand, and mobilising workforces across the country, now are looking at how they can return to offices, and ensure specifically front line staff are given all the support and equipment needed to ensure vulnerable adults and children are seen. Social Personnel have seen an influx of roles nationally, and as managers have some more capacity to interview, it does feel as the market is coming back to where it was prior Covid. If you’ve taken some timeout, found yourself furloughed, or now want to look at something different then get in touch, and speak to us around how we can find you that dream job.
Yes normality is returning but there is a harsh reality that as Councils recover the Government will have to address the deficits that they are facing for ensuring their constituents were supported throughout. 148 out of 173 Councils believe without this intervention then they will not be able to meet their budgets. Due to this we envisage restructures but what is known is that the social care sector we would say in the majority of circumstances will be ring fenced to keep delivering the fantastic work that we have seen. We do think there will be a closer integration between health and social care that has definitely been shown to work over the last few months. We envisage an increase in referrals to mental health services, and referrals into children’s services from September we also do believe will rise dramatically.
This is a time for authorities to look at innovation, and yes it is a challenge, but we have seen the sector go through other trials, and always faced them and overcome the challenges.