Dear MHA Reps,
Further to my Covid-19 email update in March, I am writing to ask for your support for Methodist Homes (MHA) staff, residents and their families, during what is an unparalleled time of challenge in our care homes.
Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, our committed workforce at MHA has been working tirelessly to support our 6,000 residents. However, they have been doing so without a steady and secure supply of the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) and without testing for the virus, which would protect both them and our residents.
Our managers, nurses, carers, cleaners, maintenance staff, chef's, administrators and volunteers have daily been going into our homes, 50% of which are experiencing Covid-19 outbreaks.
That's why we need your help. We have been petitioning Government since the outset of the pandemic to address these shortfalls and to recognise the vulnerability of those in care homes alongside those in the NHS. Only now is it starting to be recognised that we are the second front line and we need to be properly equipped with all the tools to safely do that job.
Additionally, we need PPE so families are able to say farewell to their loved ones as they approach the end of their lives, as they are not currently allowed in our homes for the protection of residents, staff and themselves. We are therefore asking the Government to provide our homes with adequate and reliable PPE not just for our residents and colleagues, but also to offer to families.
We are now hearing that the Government are going to make more provision for PPE and testing in care homes, but these plans are light on detail and timescales. So we will continue to need to source PPE from commercial organisations, costing sometimes five times the price of Government supplies, because those supplies have proved inconsistent and inadequate. And we will continue to need to transport PPE across the country between our homes, to meet need when homes experience a Covid-19 outbreak. And we will continue to caste a light on how vulnerable those in our homes are, residents and staff, to this pandemic. We have already lost over 200 residents where they have been confirmed or suspected as having Covid-19; and we have lost two of our colleagues.
Our church has a proud tradition of social justice and concern, out of which MHA itself was born 76 years ago. So I am asking you and your churches to stand alongside us at this vital time to ensure that those most vulnerable and those working on the front-line to care for them, have access to the correct and necessary PPE and testing.
You can support us by signing our petition to ask the Government to ensure adequate and consistent supplies of PPE and timely and ample testing for residents and staff by 26 April. Click here to sign the petition
You can donate to help us purchase the vital PPE we need — face masks, gloves, goggles, aprons and gowns, vital to limit spread and protect staff, residents and their relatives. Click here to donate
You can volunteer in our homes and Live at Home Schemes, crucial to countering the increased loneliness and isolation of so many vulnerable elderly people during the lock-down. Click here to learn about the volunteering opportunities available
Thank you, stay safe.