On March 13, Europe became the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic. This statement was made by Director General of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus. These days in many European countries we are witnessing the spread of a virus that is impacting our lives and public services.

We would like to send a message of solidarity to everyone working in health and social services across Europe for their dedication and hard work to keep everyone safe, and support the most vulnerable, who are particularly affected by the illness.

A special message of support goes to care professionals, who have been going through weeks of hardship with the health and social services workforce in an emergency phase to tackle the crisis. The social care sector is particularly vulnerable to this crisis, with many frail and older people dependent on care workers who could be forced to stay at home in large numbers.

Local communities, volunteers, faith and family arrangements are contributing to cover unmet needs. We hope that increased community cohesion and mutual assistance will be a central outcome. 

The role of social care and social services in this crisis is crucial to support older people, people with disabilities and the most vulnerable in care homes and through domiciliary care teams in their own homes, which in turn will help to free up beds in hospitals. Regional and local authorities with responsibility in social care and social services have warned that they do not have sufficient resources. Hence, ensuring that governments provide professionals with the necessary supplies to perform their duties is key to ensure that the most vulnerable are cared for at home and health and social care services function in an integrated fashion.

 

At the European Social Network (ESN) we launched a dedicated webpage to gather resources and best practice with information about how social services across Europe are addressing the situation thanks to input from our members, partners and friends.

To get in touch, please contact Cosmina Gantner at cosmina.gantner@esn-eu.org