Minister of Care praises retirement communities’ ‘phenomenal effort’ in tackling COVID-19

Helen Whately

Minister of Care Helen Whately has praised the “phenomenal effort” of the retirement communities sector in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

In an open letter to operators, Whately (pictured) recognised their efforts to keep residents safe and supported during the crisis.

“Retirement and extra care housing developments across the country – whatever their size, or whether private or not-for-profit – are playing a vital role in protecting the most vulnerable in our country,” the Care Minister said.

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“Every Thursday the country has been clapping to show their appreciation for all our health and social care workers, and as I take part, it is your work that is at the front of my mind.

“To ensure that all the people in your care remain safe, healthy, and comforted as our normal ways of life have been put on hold is a phenomenal achievement. It will be a joy to those in your care and to their families too.

“As we continue to tackle this global pandemic, I want to assure you that we are working around the clock to support your work and we will continue to support you.”

Michael Voges, executive director of the Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) said his organisation has been “hugely impressed” by the vigilance and efforts shown by its members at a very early stage and throughout the coronavirus crisis to date.

“Retirement communities allow residents to self-isolate effectively and to go on receiving care and support in their own homes – making sure that no one is left behind or stuck on their own,” he added.

“The coronavirus represents a real threat to older people and no one should underestimate how hard our members are working to keep retirement communities safe while supporting older people to live independent self-determined lives. This will continue for some time yet.

“We also welcome the Minister’s pledge of support from her department for our sector now and in future – we’ll be continuing conversations to ensure that our sector is well placed to go on making a huge contribution to the UK’s health and care systems during the crisis and in the years ahead.”

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Sarah Clarke

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