A joint statement setting out the importance of openness and transparency during the coronavirus crisis has been issued by the Relatives & Residents Association (R&RA) and National Care Forum (NCF).
The statement aimed primarily at residential care providers in response to COVID-19 concerns has been endorsed by the Care Provider Alliance, CQC and Skills for Care.
Vic Rayner, the Executive Director of the NCF, (pictured) said: “The COVID-19 crisis has created huge challenges for the people who live in care homes, their friends and families and care providers. Given all the uncertainty and anxiety that we are all facing, it is more important than ever that there is a culture of clear, open, transparent and regular communications during the COVID-19 crisis between care providers and the families of their residents.”
The statement stresses the importance of keeping family members informed about their relative’s suspected or confirmed COVID-19 status while also highlighting the need to be as open and transparent as possible about the situation in the home.
Helen Wildbore, Director of the Relatives & Residents Association, added: “We know from the calls to the Relatives & Residents Association Helpline that this is a distressing and agonising time for older people using care services, for their families and friends, and for staff. Our helpline is hearing from callers concerned about the well-being of their relatives in care, and for families who are not receiving information and updates from their relative’s care home, this can compound their anxiety.
“We know that care staff are working incredibly hard under extremely challenging circumstances, and that the lack of adequate testing is making this rapidly changing situation all the more difficult to manage. Keeping residents and their families updated on the situation in the home and steps taken to manage the virus will ensure an information gap doesn’t create unnecessary fear or anxiety. Open and honest flows of communication are central to good care. At a time of such uncertainty for those in care and their family, they are all the more critical.”