This is Deborah Sturdy, Interim Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care's first blog of 2021 and one which she finds herself posting in unprecedented times. She is nonetheless honoured to have this opportunity to work with - not just the nursing profession - but the whole social care workforce, as together the sector strives to meet the continuing challenges of COVID-19.
On the first day the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was rolled out, HC-Ones Daneside Court care staff were fortunate enough to be among the first to be offered vaccinations. Understandably, there was some nervousness among colleagues around the vaccine being new. As Managing Director of HC-One’s family of care homes. Ruth Yates wanted to lead by example so, along with 12 other willing colleagues, she attended the Countess of Chester Hospital to be vaccinated.
When it became apparent that coronavirus was a real and present danger to our communities – and that our health and care workers were on the frontline of the battle to contain it – we knew effective protection for these amazing people would be among our top priorities. The provision and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) has been a vital part of our strategy to keep care staff safe – especially those in care homes and other restricted care settings. Here's our update on how we're doing exactly that.
As we approach a festive season that will be very different for all of us, Fran Leddra and Mark Harvey, our Chief Social Workers for Adults, offer their hopes, thoughts and heartfelt thanks for the support of health and care colleagues this year. Their message is simple: look after your own mental and physical health as much as those around you. You deserve as much support as anyone else.
After so many months of challenge, set against a nonetheless undimmed determination to endure, the care sector has received some much needed good news.
Coming quickly after the emotional boost generated by the resumption of care home visits, supported by testing, the news that Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine has been authorised by the MHRA - and care home staff are among the first priority groups to get it - means we can look ahead to the prospect of a safer, healthier, post-pandemic future.
Reena Barai's pharmacy, SG Barai, based in Sutton, Surrey, has for the last few years been offering a flu vaccination service to the public, care homes and their staff. This year, they recognised quite early they were going to have to plan and co-ordinate how they provided their usual service in the midst of a viral pandemic.
It takes more than a global pandemic to dampen spirits in this care home – just ask these care home residents! COVID-19 may have put a stop to much the White Rock Care Home could offer, but with a little creativity and being mindful of measures to prevent cross infection, they have still been able to engage and connect in a person-centred way...
If someone had told registered manager Melissa Jones three weeks ago her care home would be filled with the voices, laughter and tears of relatives being reunited with loved ones she wouldn’t have believed them. That was until she received an email from Cornwall Council looking for care homes to take part in a pilot for rapid COVID-19 testing for visitors...
After months and months of restrictions, continued uncertainty around work, education and our general health, and the shared anxiety about the future course of this pandemic, we are now in the unusual position of receiving some cautiously optimistic news. Michelle Dyson, our Director General for Social Care, considers what the news of potentially effective COVID-19 vaccines means for the care sector - and the country as a whole.
Advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support has recently been published. The guidance has been produced in part with the help and wise counsel of Simon Wilson and Katherine Wynne, two individuals with lived experience and a wealth of ideas to improve service provision and support for people with disabilities.