Last week many frontline workers in England, including doctors, dentists, teachers, and police officers, were granted a pay rise of up to 3.1% for the ‘vital contribution’ they have made to our country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However nurses and carers were noticeably absent from this announcement, with the move described as a ‘slap in the face’ for these valuable members of our society – especially as government members publicly participated in the weekly ‘Clap for Carers’ to show their appreciation and support.
A close friend of one of my colleagues, is a nurse, who has worked in the NHS for 23 years. Her acute observation of how coronavirus has ‘stripped away the very core of life’ will haunt her forever. Whilst she is reeling from this ‘kick in the teeth’ announcement, like so many others who are passionate about the vital service they provide, she will bounce back from this adversity and the indelible images of what she has witnessed will drive her on and inspire her to get up every day for work.
My mum is a resident in a care home, and her carers have selflessly given their whole selves to caring for her and all their residents during this crisis. I cannot thank them enough.
There has been much written about the wonders of technology during lockdown and how families have been able to connect with their loved ones in care homes via Zoom. The way that care homes have risen to this challenge has been inspirational however unfortunately, this was not an option for me or my family. My mum has dementia and would not have had the mental capacity to cope with trying to communicate via this method. This would have terrified and upset her. So rather than improving her wellbeing, it would have had the opposite effect.
So I have not been able to experience the visual impact of seeing my mum smile, and instead have had to rely on phone calls to her carers who have taken the time out of their unrelenting schedule to talk to me and put my mind at rest. I have been humbled by their passion and devotion to their vocation.
There have been highs and lows. The staff wearing masks scares mum. During my first supervised visit post-lockdown, even though I was wearing a mask, any fear she had disappeared as she experienced the joy of sitting outside, with her face tilted up to the sun. A precious moment that I will never forget.
At Glassmoon, as we look to develop our own care services in the South West of England, we will endeavour to ensure that any carer or nurse employed by us feels equally as valued as any other employee. They can feel safe in the knowledge that we will always put their needs at the very heart of our business. It is vital to us that individuals feel appreciated, supported, and that their wellbeing is prioritised. This means, as we have mentioned in our podcast, shift patterns that work for individual employees, pay that values their work, and services such as RUBY that give employees true agency and development as individuals.
A final message to all the frontline nurses and carers who have worked so tirelessly during these unprecedented times: we do care and value the altruistic contribution that you have made. Thank you from all of us at Glassmoon.
The core Glasmoon team will be taking a ‘blog break’ for a month, but don’t worry, we have some fantastic guest blogs lined up – and we’ll be back to give you more of our thoughts and insights soon!