Fulfilled living in later life

Friday 17th April 2020

“It’s time to give the care sector the value it deserves”

We shared how our brilliant staff have been meeting the challenges posed by the coronavirus with an interview on BBC Wiltshire

The media spotlight has been very much on the care sector this week, with Age UK and Care England (the umbrella body for the care sector) and others raising concerns about the impact of coronavirus on care homes. Pilgrims’ Friend Society had the opportunity to share how our work has been affected at Leonora Home, Chippenham, and how our staff all around the UK are meeting the challenges posed by the coronavirus.

In an interview on Radio Wiltshire, Alexandra Davis, our Director of Marketing and Communications, said, “We’ve really got a brilliant staff team working in the home and our homes are prepared for outbreaks. The training is all in place and we’ve been able to ensure the well-being of our residents.”

Alexandra highlighted how all our homes are following Government advice, including closing their doors to non-essential visitors.

Across the sector, sourcing personal protective equipment (PPE) has been an issue. We shared how, so far, we have been able to meet this challenge, with one of member of staff taking charge of procurement across our charity.

We also shared how the local community in Chippenham have helped us meet supply needs, with Ramsbury Brewery providing hand sanitiser and Shield Wiltshire, a local group set up to help with the provision of equipment, providing face visors.

As part of the interview, Alexandra also shared how our staff team have been stepping in and helping out in places where they might not normally work. For example, with a visiting hairdresser unable to visit, one of staff team took on the role of hairdresser. To help our residents maintain vital connections with friends and family, our staff have also been supporting them to use Skype.

Asked what message we’d like to hear from Government, Alexandra said, “There’s a real sense that we need to give back to the care sector the value and priority that it truly deserves. It has been undervalued for quite a long time and it would be great to hear from Government how important and valuable the care sector is, and that they are increasing the work that they are doing to ensure the sector is clear about what it needs to do, and how it will be protected in the future."

The BBC Wiltshire interview took place on Tuesday 14th April and will available to listen to again for the next month via BBC Sounds. It was part of the Afternoons show and features two hours and twelve minutes in to the programme.

Find out more about life in lockdown at our homes