An independent group representing the UK’s social care providers has written to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlining the urgent need for more staff to cover the increased demand on social care services during the Covid-19 crisis.

The group comprising Care England, Scottish Care, Fforwm Gofal Cymru (Care Forum Wales) and the Independent Health and Care Providers has requested clarification in legislation that anyone wishing to work in for the NHS or any form of social care will be permitted to take up paid employment, even if currently furloughed in other industries and receiving 80% of their wages from the government.

The group also asked that furloughed workers receive their 80% payment and get paid for their social care work with no penalty – allowing the NHS and social care providers to employ such people during the pandemic.

Simon Parker, founding partner of SP&P a management consultancy for the care home sector, said: “After speaking with care business leaders around the country, it became very clear that there is a fast-approaching workforce crisis that if left unsupported, could have huge implications for the people receiving care and also the service providers ability to support the people that they are caring for.”

 He added: “We are calling upon the government to support the social care sector by making an amendment that would allow the NHS and social care providers, in homes or in community, to provide paid employment to staff furloughed from other industries.

“People in social care do an incredible job every day, but in today’s unprecedented times they are doing so under increasing pressure and increasing risk to themselves. As a nation we need to do everything that we can to support them.”