Care homes need our support in whatever way we can - Mark Williamson column

PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:03 15 July 2020

Mark Williamson

Mark Williamson


East Devon honorary alderman Mark Williamson writes about how care homes need support in his latest column

Mark WilliamsonMark Williamson

Our care homes need care themselves at this difficult time.

If you live in Exmouth, you’re just a mile away from a care or nursing home, probably several given that a third of homes in East Devon are in the town.

It’s a huge sector in the area, employing around 10,000 of the working population.

We all know someone who’s in a home or works in one.

The Government’s own numbers, now published, make grim reading.

Death certificates for nearly 20,000 care home residents between March 2 and June 12 mentioned coronavirus.

But on May 15, Matt Hancock told parliament ‘Right from the start we’ve tried to throw a protective ring around our care homes’.

So what went wrong?

We don’t have to wait for an inquiry.

The facts have been widely reported.

‘Right from the start’ discharged known, suspected and unknown cases (estimated at 25,000) were being admitted to unprepared care homes without testing or adequate PPE.

Understandably there are many who want to see politicians and officials held accountable.

But more must happen.

The responsible department is called Health & Social Care but this seems to be in name only.

Those care homes we pass every day are as important as schools and hospitals but 900 closed last year.

The Government’s plans for social care funding were promised in 2017!

The staff who work in homes are not just skilled but need huge emotional reserves to give their residents – our loved ones – the care they deserve.

We can’t change what has happened but our care homes are our neighbours and going through a rough time. They need our support in whatever way we can.

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