Following recent government guidance to care homes, issued earlier this month, The Leaders Council spoke with Nick Sherard, administrator of Littlefair, an independently owned Residential Care Home for older people situated close to the centre of East Grinstead.
Sherard noted the importance of leadership in times such as these, he said: “As leaders, we need to do something proactively to save lives and fulfil what we do in name.”
He continued that government guidance has proven unhelpful at present, noting that: “My manager is unable to run a safe home at the moment as the medical and legal advice is, in essence, to do nothing.
“We have to stay open as a business and have a duty of care to look after the residents and I likewise have a duty of care to everyone including the staff.”
Sherard also identifies the issues faced with testing, a matter which has come to the fore following the announcement last week that of the half a million NHS frontline staff, only 2,000 had been tested.
He says: “Surely, everyone on the front line should be tested immediately, but it doesn't stop there, it will need to be regular testing.
“Tests should have been available in December, four months later, 100 days since beginning of the year nothing has been done.”
At the current rate of testing, it is Sherard’s belief that: “We are so far behind in protecting our own population, the credibility goes out the window when they preach incoherent advice. We are over 60,000,000 people and at the rate of testing 10,000 people per day would take 6000 days to complete, 16.43 years.”
Sherard’s is also concerned about the wellbeing of his staff, stating that: “We have staff coming and going every day – they have no choice. All healthcare workers and residents need to be tested so we can identify who is safe and who is infected, it’s a matter of common sense.”
He concludes: “Everyone deserves to know whether they have it or not so they can be either treated or isolate until the outside world is safe again.”