Responding to the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee’s report on the coronavirus health and social care response so far, Councillor Huw David (Bridgend), WLGA Spokesperson for Health and Social Care said:
“The coronavirus has hit our social care sector like a tsunami. Our brilliant social care workforce has been on the frontline throughout the crisis in doing all they can to protect and care for our most vulnerable residents at such a critical time. It’s important that we all learn from the extraordinary experiences of the pandemic. Today’s report contains a number of recommendations for Welsh Government and we will work with the government and others to address key issues which we hope will support us all as we continue to respond to the pandemic and ease lockdown measures.
“Although it is clear we are now past the first peak of this virus, our elderly and most vulnerable people continue to be at risk. We must continue to work to make sure there is a reliable and sustainable supply of PPE available to all social care and health workers that need it, along with others, and that the testing regime remains a priority.”
“The impact of the virus, particularly on care homes, simply cannot be overstated. Local government is eager to work with other partners to ensure all care homes are appropriately supported where cases are reported, as well as being proactive in doing all we can to prevent the virus from entering care homes. The need to protect older and vulnerable residents in care homes will require concerted efforts and to be closely monitored at the local level. We are from being out of the woods, and we need to keep on guard to support our residents and minimise the impact of this devastating disease.
“Councils have worked quickly to introduce services, as well as keeping their usual functions running, to make sure that people are supported and that no-one is left behind. Local government is working with Welsh Government to ensure that councils and social care services are sufficiently funded to maintain that support for the tough weeks and months ahead. It Is imperative that the necessary funding is provided by the UK Government to Wales through sustainable funding being provided to social care, as was highlighted recently by the Chief Executive of the NHS in England.
“Our incredible social care workers and NHS staff are on the frontline against this deadly disease. It is essential that they are properly valued and treated with the parity and respect that they so deserve.”