CARE work is the most under-appreciated public sector profession, a survey has shown.

People in Brighton no longer consider nursing to be the most overlooked role, as they did last year, according to research by Boundless, an association for public sector workers.

The research – conducted to mark Public Service Day yesterday – found appreciation for public sector workers has risen by 95 per cent.

Last year, the average key worker went 77 days without a “thank you”. Now, that is down to three and a half days.

But the survey by Boundless, which is in Station Street, Brighton, revealed care work is still not considered as valuable as other jobs.

The Argus has heard from a care worker about the challenges of the role.

Jamilla Sadberry, 19, works in Hove. Talking about previous roles, and not her current job, she said: “A lot of people don’t know how difficult being a care worker actually is. I go to work in PPE including gloves, an apron, a mask, and sometimes a face shield.

“In my previous job I worked long, difficult hours, and the pay wasn’t great for what I was doing.

“It’s high-risk and the work is hard. With coronavirus, it’s also been hard for the people we go to see. They haven’t been able to meet friends and family and there have been huge delays getting doctors’ appointments. The people I was seeing were in a worse and worse state.”

Jamilla said she was rushed off her feet and struggled with the hours.

“It was hard to see so many different people during the day, and then return to each person three or four times,” she said.

“I only had about 30 minutes to an hour – it just wasn’t enough time to do it. And people would fight against what you’re trying to do to help them.

“I struggled with appointments starting at the same time. I was always late, and it was often hard to finish on time.”

Jamilla said it had been hard to smile and keep positive sometimes.

The Argus:

Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said it was more important then ever to recognise the importance of public sector workers.

She said: “Over the last 12 weeks we have all seen key workers putting duty and compassion above their own safety and making tremendous sacrifices to protect each other and particularly our most vulnerable citizens.

“While ‘thank you’ will never be enough, we should continue to celebrate them as often as possible – as well as ensuring their pay and conditions reflect the enormous contribution they make.”