Theresa May MP has paid a virtual visit to Sunrise of Sonning care home.
The former Prime Minister joined the care home via video call where she took questions from residents and team members. The Maidenhead and Sonning MP also spoke about what her life had been like since leaving Downing Street and how she has dealt with the current lockdown.
During the event, Theresa May praised Sunrise of Sonning for “leading the world” after being one of the first care homes to introduce enhanced visiting protocols. These protocols, known as ‘Safe Visits’, allow residents to safely have meaningful contact with their family members where there is a clinical need. Her recognition of Safe Visits was met with a roar of cheers from residents and team members who have all greatly benefitted from this innovative programme.
Theresa May had previously visited the care home on numerous occasions, but current social distancing guidelines meant that this visit was held virtually. Other care homes from across the Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare group also joined the call, which was chaired by the care home provider’s UK CEO, Dr Natalie-Jane Macdonald.
Her virtual visit comes as the care home gears up to celebrate Christmas against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of their infection control measures, team members and residents at Sunrise of Sonning will be creating their own festive decorations as the care home will be disposing of any ornaments after Christmas. The care home has also launched an appeal to local children for hand-made Christmas decorations to help personalise their Christmas tree.
Speaking of the event, Theresa May MP said:
“It was a pleasure to speak to many residents and team members at Sunrise of Sonning. Although social distancing guidelines meant that I was unable to visit the care home in person, it was wonderful to learn about the remarkable efforts of team members at Sunrise of Sonning to protect their residents during this difficult time.
“Sunrise of Sonning is leading the way in enabling meaningful contact between residents and their loved ones and I thank the care home for their unwavering commitment to protecting the safety of all. I look forward to visiting the care home in person once it is safe to do so.”
Carmela Magbitang, General Manager of Sunrise of Sonning, said:
“She is as amazing as ever. She has visited us a few times in the past and it is great to see her again, albeit over video call. It is very easy to talk to her and I am very happy that our residents were able to have a very pleasant and warm conversation with her in such an informal manner.
“I know she is very busy, so we are very grateful for the opportunity. We hope she will be able to come and visit us again sometime soon.”
Rosemary Thorpe, an 88-year-old resident at the care home, said:
“It was great meeting her and talking to her over video call. I am very glad that the stress and pressure of being a Prime Minister during a very difficult time has not changed her. She is still very empathetic, caring and very kind. She clearly cares for everyone in her constituency and we cannot wait to see her again.”
Doreen Maddock, an 85-year-old resident at Sunrise of Sonning, added:
“It was great to see her. I have known her for many years as I used to live in Wargrave village, just down the road from Sunrise of Sonning. She is a lovely person, and it is great to see that she has not changed at all during these difficult times.”