Health Secretary, Matt Hancock has announced that social care workers on the frontline against the coronavirus will receive a special badge that will entitle them to privileged treatment, such as priority access to shops.
The green badge which simply features the word ‘care’ means that their efforts to keep people healthy and safe during the pandemic will be recognised in the same way that NHS staff have for their hard work and sacrifices during this uncertain time.
Hancock said during Wednesday’s Downing Street press conference:
One of the things that I’m most proud of during this terrible crisis is that people have held health and social care workers in such high esteem across the board.
It’s not clap for the NHS – it's clap for our carers. And to take this further were today introducing a single brand for social care to symbolise the entire care profession This is something I know so many people in the profession have called for.
This badge will be a badge of honour in a very real sense allowing social care staff proudly and publicly to identify themselves just like NHS staff do with that NHS blue and white logo.
I know that many businesses will want to offer the same recognitions and benefits as they do wonderfully to the NHS.
However, Hancock’s gesture, which was actually launched in June 2019, comes after he was accused of showing bias towards the NHS, has been widely ridiculed as care workers probably need a bit more protection than what a badge can offer them, right now.
Soon after the announcement, Twitter was awash with ridicule for the badge with Piers Morgan telling the Tory MP that he was 'patronising heroes.'
Meanwhile carers also expressed their frustration. Here's what they actually need... that's not a badge. Here are some examples.
1. Personal protective equipment
2. Proper funding
3. Actual government action to improve the sector
4. Testing for Covid-19
5. To be appreciated even when we're not in times of crisis
6. Properly recording deaths in care homes
7. Being able to go to work without feeling afraid
The government has come under heavy criticism for their response to reports that deaths in care homes to coronavirus are not being acknowledged in official figures, with the social care secretary, Helen Whately receiving intense scrutiny from Piers Morgan when asked about the issue on Wednesday morning.