Managing Director Tom Page in the Yorkshire Post

Our Managing Director Tom Page spoke to the Yorkshire Post about the difficulty still facing the social care sector with Covid-19 and the worry for many of our clients. We are still taking every measure to keep our staff and clients safe. High quality and safe care is at the heart of everything we do.

Covid communication confusing the elderly

For many, it was a relief but when the UK government recently announced ending all legal requirements with regards to Covid, it has confused many elderly and vulnerable people.

I run a care company that supports clients who want quality care for their nearest and dearest to allow them to live in their own homes and in the past week I’ve been inundated with calls from clients and their families worried that my staff will infect them Covid.

For when Boris Johnson made the recent announcement about having to live with Covid, it was a sweeping statement. What was not made clear is that advice was for the general public, not social care. And our clients don’t realise that.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m delighted we’re coming out of the darkness of the pandemic but how we communicate is key. The narrative has changed very quickly from ‘we’re all going to die, you need to stay at home’ to ‘everyone can go back to living normal lives’ so it’s confusing for many.

For example, we have one client who’s isolated and has not left the house for two years. So that person and their family are now questioning whether they have to stay in or can go out. There’s a lot of uncertainty and it seems the UK government has forgotten those who have spent much of the pandemic shielding from the virus.

You see it day-to-day in supermarkets too. Many older people have been so hammered by the narrative of ‘killer-Covid’, that they look petrified when you go near them as they are frightened you’re going to give them a fatal virus.

An at-risk individual of course has the choice to put on a mask, test and socially distance but if no one else is doing it, it’s pointless.

For those of us working in social care, the guidance has changed about ten times over the past two years so it’s been hard enough finding out and remembering what the advice is before I then have to interpret it and cascade it to my carers.

I also must protect my employees, protect their health. I would not want to ask a carer to go back into a workplace in which they felt unsafe. We are not yet at the endemic stage.  Reduced testing makes it difficult to identify new variants and Covid continues to spread so people of all ages are still susceptible to infection.

My team works with many people who feel vulnerable so I’ve had to factor that into how we approach the future. And for now, we will continue to test despite the rule change. We will continue to wear PPE and we will continue to protect our clients.

We’ve been handwashing, keeping our distance and wearing PPE since the beginning of the pandemic and we’ve not had a single client case of Covid throughout the past two years. so it shows how good our system is. And we will continue to adopt a cautious approach.

Making a grand sweeping statement as the UK government did recently, was at best poor communication and at worst, downright irresponsible.

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