More than 170 carers have called a whistleblowing helpline since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a report that highlights the voices of frontline workers and lays bare a catalogue of safety concerns.
Compassion in Care, which operates the helpline for care workers, says it is seeing the whistleblowing process move at “unprecedented speed” as the coronavirus crisis unfolds, with many concerns being ignored.
With the coronavirus death toll mounting in care homes, the charity’s report flags the “horrendous” unsafe conditions workers are facing amid concerns over lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as the impact on carers’ mental health.
One whistleblower likens the situation to a “war zone” with people struggling to breathe, while another describes the pain of not having the time, because of the overwhelming workload, to even hold distressed residents’ hands.
In a new report, titled When the Silence Wins, Compassion in Care’s founder, Eileen Chubb, who is herself a former care whistleblower, writes: “During this crisis I have experienced the whistleblowing process moving at unprecedented speed, at such a high-volume and involving whistleblowing issues that are without exception extremely serious."
“What is emerging from these cases is a lack of action by employers in response to genuine concerns."
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Source: The Guardian, 6 May 2020