Jan Shortt, General Secretary of the National Pensioners’ Convention, the UK’s largest campaigning organisation for older people, said (April 14, 2020):
“The enormous scale of the tragedy unfolding in our care homes as a result of the Coronavirus sadly should and could have been avoided, or at the very least mitigated against.
Social care in the UK has been in crisis for a long time, caused by chronic underfunding and a high turnover of staff. COVID-19 has impacted on this already critically unprepared service provision to a disastrous degree, causing untold grief and pain to care home patients, their families and the staff who are dedicated to looking after them.
The care sector along with the NPC has been warning for weeks now that Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and Covid-19 testing were essential to at least limit the impact of this dreadful disease in our care homes. The Government must now urgently get a grip of this situation and support dedicated front line staff in care homes. Like NHS front line staff, care workers are at risk themselves, isolated from their families, delivering care and compassion for the most elderly and vulnerable.”
*The National Pensioners Convention was set up in 1979 to champion the rights and welfare of the UK’s older people. It now represents more than 1.5 million people in over 1,000 different organisations across the UK and holds an annual Pensioners’ Parliament - to debate issues affecting older people. www.npcuk.org