‘Commitment and compassion' of Falkirk's frontline social care staff in pandemic praised

"If ever there was a year where a light should be shone on social work and social care and the outstanding commitment of the people who are part of it, it's this year."

By Kirsty Paterson
Friday, 11th December 2020, 4:45 pm
Sara Lacey, in her annual report to councillors  highlighted the "commitment, compassion and utter professionalism" of social work and social care  staff on the frontline of the Covid-19 crisis.
Sara Lacey, in her annual report to councillors highlighted the "commitment, compassion and utter professionalism" of social work and social care staff on the frontline of the Covid-19 crisis.

That was the message from Falkirk Council's chief social worker, Sara Lacey, in her annual report to councillors as she highlighted the "commitment, compassion and utter professionalism" of the staff on the frontline of the Covid-19 crisis.

Ms Lacey said she wanted to thank the staff who have worked so hard to make sure vital services did not stop when the pandemic started.

Children were visited at home where they needed to be seen, people were cared for within their own home and residential services for the young and old continued to meet their needs.

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Sara Lacey, in her annual report to councillors highlighted the "commitment, compassion and utter professionalism" of social work and social care staff on the frontline of the Covid-19 crisis.

"There wasn't any point at all that social work ever came to a standstill," said Ms Lacey.

"We didn't take days or weeks to reconfigure by pausing anything - we had to do it in full response mode."

Usually, the chief social worker's report concentrates on the previous year but this year's exceptional circumstances allowed her to comment on the ongoing response to the coronavirus.

Ms Lacey is very aware of the toll the response has taken on many staff who, when others were told to stay at home, had no choice but to go to work.

Sara Lacey, in her annual report to councillors highlighted the "commitment, compassion and utter professionalism" of social work and social care staff on the frontline of the Covid-19 crisis.

The work they did was emotional and difficult and the pressures relentless - especially in care homes where the virus was causing pain, grief and anxiety.

But despite the challenges, Ms Lacey says, the workforce has continued to offer respectful and compassionate care every day.

"They have kept those in need of support feeling loved, fed and comfortable.

"They have also had to support people at the end of life and been with them when their relatives couldn’t."

In doing so, those in front-facing care work put the needs of others ahead of their own.

"It has been an anxious time for people, they were worried about themselves and about their families they are going home to," said Ms Lacey.

"There's no doubt that our staff have been professional but people have made sacrifices and the challenges they have faced have been phenomenal."

The pandemic, she says, has changed the shape of lives and added a whole new complexity and this report is her chance to thank the entire team for how they responded.

"Social work services are quite discreet - we don't really talk a lot about the services we do because they are so individualised and because everybody deserves confidentiality.

"This is where I get a chance to say 'look at the work we do', look at how we work together, look at how we work with people!'"

While people are tired and drained, some changes have been positive.

They have been forced to find new ways to communicate and in the process have had some brilliant feedback.

"There are things we'll hold on to, for sure," she said.

"We are really focused on transforming our services and achieving good outcomes for people in Falkirk."

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