Councillor Pat Callaghan’s open letter to the Camden New Journal that addresses the difficulties being faced by care homes and staff throughout this crisis. The full letter is below:
It’s a very difficult time for care homes and staff
DURING this unprecedented pandemic, it is heartening to see the strong partnerships that are being further forged, and also newly created, between residents, carers, communities, voluntary and charity organisations, the NHS and the council.
This is also reflected across the borough, where residents and businesses from all walks of life have come together to combat the pandemic, highlighting the strength of the Camden spirit.
We are striving to ensure that by 2025 everyone in Camden should be able to live a healthy, independent life, no matter their age or situation, and where older and disabled people should be able to live independently for as long as possible.
However, the current situation has caused upheaval in all areas of society, including the borough’s care homes.
This is a very difficult time for the homes, their staff, residents and their families and my heart goes out to them all.
We will continue to support local care services as much as we can, and work closely alongside with them to help keep residents and staff as safe as possible during this extremely challenging period.
We are in contact with homes on a daily basis to ensure we can provide support as required. These daily calls include ensuring they have enough supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and also providing additional equipment if homes are struggling to source PPE themselves.
We are also improving access to testing, and social care staff in Camden are now able to access testing through multiple avenues, including drive-through tests, tests at walk in centres and home tests.
While a government act has been implemented that allows for temporary “easements” of a local authority’s social care function, it is important to note that in Camden it has not been necessary to implement any such changes at this point.
We, along with the rest of Camden’s amazing health and social care providers, will continue to work to ensure that all our residents have access to the care and support they require as we move forward together.
Cllr Pat Callaghan is Cabinet Member for a Healthy and Caring Camden at Camden Council.