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21 Social Workers Die in UK Due To Covid-19

UK - The UK Office for National Statistics has confirmed that deaths of social workers from Covid-19 have more than doubled during May, in comparison with the previous month.

The official statistics show that 21 practitioners were registered as having died from Covid-19 related causes from the 9th March to 25th May. This compares with only 10 recorded deaths up to the 20th April.

The statistic show a widening gap between social workers and the population in general. For this same period there were 50.1 deaths per 100,0000 male social workers, in contrast to 19.1 for general workers. For women it was 19.1 for social care staff compared to 9.7 in the general population.

This figure may well be higher than publicised, as a Community Care survey found that 30% of social care practitioners surveyed had colleagues who had died or become seriously ill from Covid-19. 55% had carried out duties which they feel may have put them at risk.

Commenting on the latest ONS figures on Covid-19 deaths by occupation, Suzie Bailey, Director of Leadership and Organisational Development at The King’s Fund, said:

‘It is a tragedy that deaths from Covid-19 have been so disproportionately high among social care staff. Hardworking care staff have been on the front line in this crisis, but have been let down by government promises of support that have not been delivered. It is increasingly clear that social care has been neglected during the pandemic, with disastrous consequences.

‘Lessons must be learnt. The virus still poses a very real threat and care workers need to be protected and prioritised for access to testing and PPE. Social care must never again be treated as an afterthought to the NHS, but as an equal partner in an interdependent system.’

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