Following the unveiling of prime minister Boris Johnson’s exit strategy from the Covid-19 UK lockdown on May 10, Jeanette Phillips, founder of Flexicare UK, approached The Leaders Council of Great Britain & Northern Ireland to offer her thoughts on the plan, and indeed the pandemic thus far.
Phillips’ initial thoughts on the government’s 50-page document setting out the plans, specifically in terms of reinvigorating the UK economy, were positive.
Phillips said: “The document is comprehensive and very productive in terms of helping the UK economy rebuild.
“The policy appears to be taking tentative steps, with everyone being responsible for their actions and a great deal of trust being placed in the public. I think this is a positive step, for the only people who can stop the virus spreading are members of the general public through their own actions.
“The first step is always the hardest, however the building in of Health Education can only be a good thing with careful monitoring as we go along.”
There has been some concern among the public that the easing of some lockdown restrictions last week, including allowing citizens in England to travel more widely and spend more time outdoors, could lead to another increase in infection rates.
However, Phillips stressed that the general public has a part to play in preventing this.
“Citizens have to take responsibility for preventing transmission and keeping that ‘R rate’ down. If they d not, then perhaps some trustworthy individuals who have been furloughed from their current professions could be recruited as community enforcers or local Covid-19 prevention officers.”
Addressing the content of the document, although Phillips thought it thorough and positive, she was concerned over how it can be maintained in the longer-term.
“Over time, I am concerned over how the country will cope with this in the longer-term, particularly if the new Covid alert system does show a regression in future and harsher social distancing measures have to be re-enforced.”
Much has been made during the pandemic of the impact it has had on the care sector, with around 40 per cent of deaths linked to Covid-19 in England and Wales thus far being recorded in care homes. Yet, Phillips feels that her firm was prepared to take on the historic challenge.
“Fortunately, we at Flexicare UK were well prepared for this pandemic, and the team here has worked together for many years, often having to make quick and dynamic decisions which must be executed immediately.
“All of our operating systems are cloud based and can be operated from anywhere. We can also upload other helpful content to our systems remotely, such as advice and even training videos.
“The personal assistants working in Gloucestershire have been well trained to Care Certificate Standards, maintaining the highest standard of infection control in our clients’ own homes.”
And what of the shortage of personal protective equipment that has been well documented? In Flexicare UK’s case, even those woes are currently being eased too.
“Last week, we were in in receipt of some effective protective equipment flown in from South Korea as a gift of thanks to the Gloucestershire Regiment, which was incredibly kind.”