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West Midlands COVID care home scandal exposed on Newsnight

07 May 2020
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As Covid-19 continues to ravage the world, GMB Union is ramping up its long-standing campaign to secure sick pay and PPE for care workers, who’ve been battered by Coronavirus over the last few months. 

Zoe Smith, GMB member, appeared on BBC’s Newsnight last night to outline the dire situation in care homes and what the Government should be doing to prevent needless deaths among the elderly and most vulnerable. 

The total lack of PPE in many West Midlands has led to significant numbers of workers being forced into self-isolation as the virus spreads at an alarming rate.  

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Care workers in isolation are often not entitled to any company sick pay and are left to claim the paltry £95.85 a week offered by the Government’s Statutory Sick Pay scheme. 

Rachel Fagan, GMB Regional Organiser, said: 

“We’re under siege in our care homes. PPE supplies are not getting sent to us and the virus is spreading faster through care homes than anywhere else 

“Our patients are already very vulnerable; many are elderly or have compromised immune systems and must be protected at all costs.  

“Our care workers need to stay fit and healthy in order to get back on the frontline and keep looking after those who need them most. 

“Care workers are family to those they look after, and it’s time we treated them like family.  

We’re under siege in our care homes. Carers are overworked, underpaid and now at huge risk of catching a deadly disease because the Government won’t send much-needed PPE. 

Rachel Fagan, GMB Regional Organiser

“They’re overworked, underpaid and now at huge risk of catching a deadly disease because the Government won’t send much-needed PPE. 

“The situation is so dire that many workers are terrified to be tested, because a positive result would mean losing what little money they’re already on.  

“This cannot go on, it’s time to care for our carers, with PPE and proper pay.” 

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