The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have spoken to care workers from across the UK to hear about their experiences of providing care during the coronavirus outbreak, and to thank them for their tireless efforts to continue to look after the most vulnerable in our society.
On Wednesday, Their Royal Highnesses joined residents from the Shire Hall Care Home in Cardiff via video call as they played bingo in the home’s cinema. Shire Hall provides residential, nursing and dementia care and is part of Hallmark Care Homes, a family-run care provider with 19 care homes across England and Wales. The Duke and Duchess took their turn as guest bingo callers for one of the games, before speaking to some of the residents and their care workers.
Before the game, The Duke and Duchess heard from members of the care team about the impact of Covid-19 and the challenges that they have faced as a result of the pandemic. Their Royal Highnesses also heard how the home has adapted to the current circumstances, including greater use of technology to allow residents to stay in touch with their families and friends.
Earlier this month, The Duke of Cambridge held calls with care workers in England and Northern Ireland. Across the calls, they discussed the unique challenges of providing care throughout the pandemic, including the impact of the last few months on the mental health and wellbeing of both those receiving care and the caregivers themselves.
On Wednesday 6th May, The Duke spoke to members of the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, one of the largest integrated health and social care trusts in the UK, and heard how staff are supporting service users and the bereaved through these challenging times. Those on the video call also highlighted the unique challenges that young people in care face when schools are closed and normal life has significantly changed.
On Thursday 14th May His Royal Highness held a video call with care workers from different parts of the sector across England, including those providing care within people’s homes, personal assistance, and supported living services. The Duke heard about the measures that they have taken to ensure that they can continue to deliver care throughout the coronavirus outbreak, including by self-isolating from their own families. The participants discussed the impact that these measures have had on their own mental wellbeing, and the crucial need to support social care workers on the frontline of the coronavirus. His Royal Highness also heard about the work that is being carried out by The Care Workers Charity to help those across the social care sector.
During this call, The Duke said:
“If there’s hopefully some positivity that comes out of this horrendous time, it is that there’s a light shone on all of the wonderful things you all do and on the social care sector, and it allows people to acknowledge, respect and appreciate everything that you are doing.”