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Carer Unveils Alternative ‘Living with Covid’ Plan

A care sector leader today unveiled his alternative plan to enable older and vulnerable people to live safely with Covid-19 in the future.

Mike Padgham, Chair of the provider organisation, The Independent Care Group (ICG) warned: “The world has changed since the pandemic began, social care is on its knees and is going to need some help to live with Covid.”

He said he wanted to see a cautious and sensible return to normality and more support in a new and totally changed care landscape.

His words came as the Prime Minister was expected to lift all remaining restrictions in the Government’s Living with Covid plan. An extra Covid-19 booster is to be provided to older people, and those in care settings, this spring.

Mr Padgham said: “As a country we want to get back to normality as soon as we can and that includes those people who rely on care in their own homes or who live in care and nursing homes.

“But to achieve that we have to remain cautious and as a society not forget that Covid-19 hasn’t gone away and still poses a risk, particularly to vulnerable people. I welcome the extra booster.

“I know that things like masks, social distancing, hyper-scrupulous hygiene and other measures will remain amongst care providers as we ensure care settings remain safe settings.

“And to do that we are going to need support. There cannot be a lazy assumption that everything is as it was before.

“The landscape has changed since Covid-19 arrived, social care has suffered greatly and seen tragic loss. We have experienced a hemorrhaging of staff like never before and we must tackle that now.

“Social care providers have been struggling financially now for more than a decade and Covid-19 has left many on their knees.”

“The huge added costs associated with Covid-19, followed by falling occupancy levels, an increased use of agency staff and now rapidly increasing utility costs, are just some of the financial pressures providers are now facing. It is a fight for survival and as part of its plan for living with Covid, the Government will have to recognise that.”