Catherine West MP
Catherine West MP

The Ham & High published my letter in this week’s edition about the scandal in our care homes and the need to ensure the dedicated staff have access to PPE, testing and resources.

National reports of frontline care staff left struggling to access essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have shocked and horrified us all.

I’ve been in contact with our care homes and sheltered housing schemes locally over the past few weeks and they’re doing incredible work caring for some of our most vulnerable people at this difficult time.  Yet they’ve shared with me their frustrations of running desperately short of supplies and receiving inadequate government deliveries – with one manager telling me they’d feared having to use their own credit card to buy more as stock was so low.  Haringey Council and Haringey Clinical Commissioning Group have stepped in to help and I’ve been urgently raising issues in Parliament with the Health Secretary and Minister for Social Care, but this situation should never have been allowed to arise.

PPE isn’t the only problem.  Until recently, care workers without cars have found it impossible to access testing centres even if they’ve been working with residents who’ve tested positive for Covid-19.  Others have told me of the devastation at being left to provide end-of-life care for very sick residents who they felt would, in normal circumstances, have been treated in hospital.

I’m backing calls for the Government to ensure care home deaths are reported and released in the same way as hospital deaths to ensure transparency.  When this crisis is over there will be a lot of lessons to be learnt.  As your MP I will continue to call for proper funding and resources for the social care sector and the dedicated staff who are on the frontline of the fight against Covid-19.

Catherine West
Member of Parliament for Hornsey & Wood Green



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