Clapping for Carers in the Covid-19 crisis: Carers’ reflections in a UK survey

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Abstract

This paper reports and discusses the weekly Clapping for Carers - described as “front-line heroes” that took place across the UK during the first national lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic. Data are drawn from a UK-wide online survey of health and social care workers, completed in May-July 2020. The survey received 3,425 responses of which 2,541 were analysed; and free-text comments were categorised. One question asked specifically: ‘Do you think the 'Clap for Carers' was a helpful response from the public?’ and 815 comments were provided.

Responses were extracted from these 815 free-text comments and categorised as: unequivocally Yes; predominantly Yes; mixed feelings; predominantly No; and unequivocally No. Most comments revealed mixed feelings about the helpfulness of Clapping with only a minority being entirely supportive. The free-text comments offer some explanations for these views with many feeling that Clapping distracted from the severity of the pandemic and the inadequate resources. The free-text comments reveal workforce concerns that the support demonstrated for the frontline workforce in Clapping might be transitory and that it may not translate into workforce improvements and political commitment to further funding of health and social care. Some saw the value of Clapping as illustrative of community cohesion. There was little mention of Clapping for heroes, and where it was the notion of heroism was rejected. The demonstration of public support in Clapping for Carers may have directly

benefitted the public, but only indirectly the workforce. Future recruitment data may help discern if public support has translated into a desire to join the workforce.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 14 May 2021

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