SCIE's response to a second lockdown

02 November 2020

Responding to news of a second lockdown, SCIE's Chief Executive Kathryn Smith says:

The country is being asked to take a deep breath and repeat what we did in March. We support any effort to keep the population safe and a second lockdown will, we hope, help to achieve that. It’s going to be challenging for everyone; but one of the areas of greatest challenges is social care. We all remember what happened during the first lockdown in March. As we wrote on in our Beyond Covid report: 'It is clear that not only was the sector ill-prepared for the crisis – with poor advance planning – but the response when it did arrive was insufficient and too late'. Care services, not just care homes, were put in the firing line and evidence of the extreme anguish is widely known. We cannot have a repeat of that over the next month or more. But it doesn’t need to be the same as the first lockdown.

Kathryn Smith continues:

Take for instance, care home visits. Over 60 organisations, including ours, have written to Government to make sure that care homes are supported to enable visits by families and loved ones, both in November and into the future. Safe visits are possible: This time, more is understood about the risks of transmission and measures are in place to keep people safe. And we should be more prepared. For instance, in the Winter Plan for Social Care, the Government pledged to provide free personal protective equipment until March. This is important because so many deaths occurred during the first lockdown without PPE; and it’s the sort of issue raised by the plan that is even more important now we’re going into a second lockdown.

SCIE's Kathryn Smith goes on to say:

Our Beyond COVID publication reports that there’s much resilience, versatility, passion and empathy of the care workforce, and within wider communities. However, it also concludes that social care needs sustainable future funding, an emphasis on preventative work and a well-recognised workforce. We must not give up on this clear vision of the future, even as the country is being asked to going back into lockdown.

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