Today marks the beginning of the end of lockdown. From today one person can visit a resident in a care home. Having taken a former customer a Christmas present at a care home in late December I was able to wave through the window. It brought it home to me just how upsetting it must be for relatives not able to visit their loved ones for months on end. Hopefully with the vaccinations and todays lifting of restrictions things will rapidly improve.
Care homes have had a very difficult time, and at the start of COVID19 they witnessed a high number of deaths where the virus spread uncontrollably throughout the care home. Many staff have performed heroically, and in the national press we saw carers living in the premises to stop the spreading of COVID. However, despite this Care Homes have generally had a negative press.
Coming down the tracks is rising costs for Care Homes. We have seen the NHS offer staff a 1% pay raise. Most care homes will face a wages rise of at least 2.2% when the minimum wage takes effect on the 1st April. But perhaps of equal concern is the hidden costs, over the next 18 months what will happen to the price of: care insurance, PPE, uniforms, stationery, utility bills, computer equipment…….?
We expect better times ahead in care, but someone will have to pay for these and after the budget it is still unclear who this will be.