The UK Health Secretary has offered care workers a “badge of honor” that may get them perks similar to NHS staff amid the pandemic. The move got staggeringly negative reception – and the badge turned out to be not exactly new.
The ‘new’ badge was presented – and donned – by Matt Hancock during a press conference on Wednesday. Supermarkets across the country have been asked to give the care workers the same priority access as to NHS staff, and the badge would make it easier to distinguish them, he said.
“This badge will be a badge of honor in a very real sense, allowing social care staff proudly and publicly to identify themselves, just like NHS staff do with that famous blue and white logo,” Hancock said. “I know that many businesses will want to offer the same recognition and benefits as they do wonderfully to the NHS.”
The idea of priority shoppers, however, has left politicians and the public less than impressed, and Hancock immediately faced a jet storm of criticism. Providing care workers with protective equipment and additional funding should have been his first concern instead, many argued.
A badge?!?! ?How about some PPE and testing as a priority @MattHancock . That is what care workers need. #PPENow
Badges will probably cost a grand knowing our leaders too ?
Others suggested that care workers are highly unlikely to be satisfied with such patronizing ‘appreciation’ coming from the authorities.
Hancock is truly deranged if he thinks he can appease care workers by throwing them a sop by way of a fucking badge. pic.twitter.com/2T8UarQJCt
‘I’m really looking forward to receiving my badge from Matt Hancock’Said nobody. Ever.
With the UK currently among the worst coronavirus-hit nations with nearly 100,000 confirmed cases, including just shy of 13,000 deaths, many noted that pompously doling out trinkets should have been on the bottom of the health boss’ to-do list.
Matt Hancock treats the #Covid_19 briefing like he’s presenting Blue Peter and is excited to treat Social Care Workers like Girl Guides and Boy Scouts who have earned a badge. #SocialCareBadgepic.twitter.com/AOkxOHHGFG
Moreover – leaving aside the fact that the green “badge” reading “CARE” is a mere suit pin – the marking isn’t as new as the secretary let on. The badge was actually unveiled last June and was readily available for £1.20 apiece for some time. It was not immediately clear how one could distinguish ‘new’ Hancock-issued pins from the old ones already up for sale.
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