Bishop Christine seeks reassurances for our care homes, sheltered accommodation and hospices

First published on: 22nd April 2020

The Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Christine Hardman has sought reassurances from the Government over the support being given to care homes, hospices and operators of sheltered accommodation during this coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking during an online House of Lords debate earlier today, Bishop Christine stated that these organisations are under enormous pressure. 

"My Lords, its not just care homes facing these very serious challenges, but also I have learned hospices and sheltered accommodation amongst other places. Managers responsible for these organisations are under enormous pressure, trying to ensure safe staffing levels and the safety of their staff," said Bishop Christine.

"Hopefully sufficient PPE will soon be secured and distributed, although I recognise the enormous challenge and efforts that are being made towards that. But in the immediate context, where we dont have that, can the Noble Lord the Minister tell us how the Government aims to advise and support those responsible for running our care homes, our sheltered accommodation and hospices, who are having to make such difficult decisions now and many of whom feel abandoned and rather lonely in that responsibility?"

Responding for the Government, Lord Bethell, Minister of Innovation at the Department of Health and Social Care said: "The Right Reverend the Noble Prelate makes a completely fair point that the disease is utterly unfair and cruel in the way that it targets the old and the vulnerable, and those who are in the front line of our care system are caring the greatest burden of them all. Huge resources have been put in place, both financially and in terms of seeking to recruit more staff. Undoubtedly, more can be done. Guidelines evolve at great pace, but guidelines on PPE and also on other care arrangements, and we are constantly reviewing and updating both the arrangements and guidelines for care home staff, as she suggests."

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