NHS IT, Records and Data

07.05.20

Dedicated adult social care workforce app launched by government

England’s adult social care workforce is set to benefit from a new dedicated app to help support them through the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The Care Workforce app, which has been developed with NHSX and the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA), will be introduced under the new CARE brand and will act as a single digital hub for social care workers to access relevant updates, guidance, support and discounts direct from their phone.

Spread across 18,000 providers, with a workforce of 1.5 million, the social care industry in England can often be difficult to communicate with in one clear way to all staff.

The CARE-branded app comes in response to calls from within the sector for a more unified and connecting brand. It will be supported on both Apple and Android platforms, as well as accessible by browsers on any device.

New mental wellbeing guidance will soon be published to further support the care sector with bespoke advice for care workers, and will be signposted on the Care Workforce app when available.

A first of its kind for care workers, the tool will:

  • act as a single one-stop-shop providing the sector with all the latest guidance, wellbeing support and advice they need to protect themselves from COVID-19 and keep themselves well
  • provide access to learning resources on crucial areas such as infection control as well as practical advice and support for mental wellbeing
  • show how care workers can take advantage of offers available to NHS and social care staff, including free car parking and discounts through organisations and initiatives like Discounts for Carers and the Blue Light Card
  • signpost free access to apps like Silvercloud, Daylight and Sleepio, which can help boost users’ mental wellbeing through programmes covering sleep, stress and resilience

The app builds on a cash injection of £1.6bn for local authorities, as well as the recently launched social care action plan, which set out a series of measures to further protect the social care workforce including increased testing and access to personal protective equipment (PPE).

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Our incredible social care workforce are on the frontline day and night providing quality care to the most vulnerable in our society during the most unprecedented time in our history. The whole country is incredibly grateful of the work they continue to do for our loved ones.

“As part of our continued work to back the care sector, we have launched a new app specifically for care workers to make sure they have the most up-to-date guidance to keep them safe, connected with their colleagues across the country, which also allows them to access discounts like their NHS counterparts.

“It’s available to download right now, and I would urge everyone in social care to do so.”

Helen Whately, Minister of State for Care, added: “The care sector is a vital part of our health and care frontline and this pandemic has shone a light on the skills, commitment and dedication of our care workers.

“The Care Workforce app is there to help those frontline care workers ‒ from providing the latest news and guidance, to sharing stories to draw inspiration from in challenging times, and as a way of connecting colleagues from Cornwall to Carlisle. I hope it will help unite people working in care across the country.

“The care workforce have long asked for a single, unifying brand to connect them to each other and I am delighted that we are able today to launch this important new tool under the CARE umbrella.”

Ambitions for the app are to act as a networking platform in the future to bring the social care workforce together in one unified place, allowing for shared learning, best practice and inspiration from across the sector.

A version of the app is also currently being considered for NHS workers.

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