Following comments by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the spread of Coronavirus in care homes cabinet member for health and social care Cllr Paul Brant, has issued this statement:
“On Monday (6 July), the prime minister made some comments which implied that care providers’ practices were responsible for the spread of coronavirus in care homes. Today, I want to make clear my personal admiration for the truly heroic care staff who we are privileged to have here in Liverpool.
“Liverpool’s care staff have dealt tremendously with the challenges that this pandemic has brought and they have done so with such compassion and bravery. Despite working in situations where they were often at risk themselves, they have worked selflessly to save lives and provide essential support to our most vulnerable care home residents. Around the clock, care staff have worked in partnership with Liverpool City Council’s staff – with our commissioners and Public Health team – and with our fantastic NHS colleagues in hospitals, community and primary healthcare settings and in infection control. They sourced PPE when national supplies had been diverted and worked tirelessly to contain the virus when testing was not yet available and when the government had not yet acknowledged the pressure that the sector was under.
“There has been a tragic loss of life in care homes, and families and staff will live with that impact for some time. However, together we have taken on and effectively curbed the virus in Liverpool’s homes and in our other social care services and we have done this through a collective effort and a comprehensive action plan that I believe will protect us well into the future.
“The prime minister now seems to have admitted that this sector needs a proper funding settlement. There’s no doubt that this acknowledgement is welcome but we have been asking for this in Liverpool for a long time. We have known for many years that reform is desperately needed: reform to the levels of pay and status that care and support workers are afforded and reform to the infrastructure that is needed to support excellent services and infection control.
“Social care has been hit especially hard by Covid-19 and the workers who have made such efforts and sacrifices demand our respect and thanks more than ever before. But words will only go so far. The sector must have investment to strengthen it for the longer term and this must be the pandemic’s legacy. Care workers who were neglected from the outset of these recent challenges need to feel that from now on they and the people for whom they care are a priority and that they are properly rewarded and respected rather than being blamed.”