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07/07/2020   Our response to Boris Johnson and Simon Stevens

We’d like to say a few words in response to Boris Johnson’s unacceptable remarks that “too many care homes didn’t follow procedures” during COVID-19, as well as Simon Stevens’ comments over the weekend regarding the “resilience” of the social care system.

These comments, although not unexpected, suggests the blame lies with care homes, when the sector is filled with hardworking, resourceful individuals who dedicate their lives to caring for others.

The situation has been challenging, but care homes were not just sitting on their hands while the government was deciding its next steps. Like every sector, we have had to learn about this evolving situation as we go along, but providers used their expertise and anticipated what needed to be done long before the government guidelines were released. In fact, care organisations were a crucial influence on the policies that have saved lives, from PPE to choosing to suspend visits.

Lincolnshire care homes in particular were forward-thinking when it came to preventing the spread of COVID-19, choosing to go into lockdown before it became mandatory. Many were told they were overreacting, but the situation could have been much more serious if that decision hadn’t been made.

Most importantly, don’t let these careless words dissuade you, a friend or relative from choosing to make a care home your home. They provide security, companionship and so much more, and for vulnerable people in need of support there is no safer place to be.

A few weeks ago, the government was clapping for the care sector – don’t let them make us the target of their mistakes. The battle against COVID-19 isn’t over yet, but we’re still here fighting the good fight for the vulnerable people that need us.

Melanie Weatherley, MBE