DEMAND for social care services is expected to “rapidly increase” as coronavirus cases continue to rise, it has been said.

Councils across Gwent are working to maintain services to ensure “the most vulnerable” continue to receive the care they need.

The Welsh Government says “urgent arrangements” have been made to distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) to social care staff, following a call from the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) and Association of Directors of Social Services Cymru Wales ( ADSS).

Testing for the virus will also be rolled out to workers in social care as the Welsh Government’s capacity increases.

Councillor Huw David, WLGA spokesman for health and social care, said demand on social care services “will rapidly increase as they will be used more and more to ease the pressure on the NHS in responding to the outbreak.”

“Social care staff are undertaking a critical role at this time, like others in the health and care sector,” he said.

“They are keeping older people and children and young people safe, and providing a range of care and support to others, and I would like to thank them for the work that they have done and will be doing.”

He also said testing for social care staff should be introduced “as soon as possible,” a call which was backed by Sue Cooper, president of ADSS Wales.


Meanwhile councils are preparing to ensure services continue with minimal disruption.

In Newport, visits to care homes have been limited to protect the vulnerable, with some using technology such as Facetime and Skype for relatives to communicate with their family members.

The council says residents may experience some changes to their social care services, as providers need to change their deployment of staff.

Availability of PPE and hand gel is ‘scarce’, with the council working with the Welsh Government to increase supplies.

In Torfaen, Ty Nant Ddu Resource Centre in Pontypool has been closed until further notice.

Day opportunities have also been stopped, with everyone who uses the service contacted to discuss alternative support.

Council residential homes in Blaenau Gwent are closed to visitors and day centres for adults will also close.

But home care, domiciliary services and children’s services will continue.

“We must ensure that essential services continue and we are working to redeploy staff from their everyday roles into critical areas such as social services,” council leader, Cllr Nigel Daniels said.

Social care staff in Caerphilly are ready to be redeployed to ensure essential services continue with minimal disruption and the most vulnerable continue to receive the care they need.

Monmouthshire council says maintaining key public services such as social care is its “top priority.”

A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: “Covid-19 is having a wide-ranging impact on the lives of those who live and work in care homes and we are working hard to address the anxieties that people have during this very difficult period.

“Arrangements are being made across our social care sector to address the specific needs of residents and workers and ensure that we maintain the highest levels of care and dignity.”