16 April 2020

An open letter from Sam Monaghan the Chief Executive of MHA to Methodists

The President and Vice-President are praying for the work of MHA and for the safety of the staff and clients. The President recently wrote a prayer which you may like to use

Dear Methodist Friends

Help us get vital personal protective equipment (PPE) for our care workers, residents and their relatives

I am writing to ask for your support for Methodist Homes (MHA) staff, residents and their families, during what is an unparalleled time of challenge in our care homes.

Our church has a proud tradition of social justice and concern, out of which MHA itself was born 76 years ago. So I am asking you to stand alongside us at this vital time to ensure that those most vulnerable and those working on the frontline to care for them, have access to the correct and necessary PPE and testing.

You can support us by signing our petition to ask the Government to ensure adequate and consistent supplies of PPE and timely and ample testing for residents and staff. (www.mha.org.uk/ppe-petition)

You can donate to help us purchase the vital PPE we need – face masks, gloves, goggles, aprons and gowns, vital to limit spread and protect staff, residents and their relatives (bit.ly/2wLej68)

You can volunteer in our homes and Live at Home Schemes, crucial to countering the increased loneliness and isolation of so many vulnerable elderly people during the lockdown (www.mha.org.uk/careers/current-vacancies/mha-needs-you/)

Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, our committed workforce has been working tirelessly to support the residents we care for. We, and our suppliers, have been working around the clock to source and move PPE to where it is needed, to ensure the safety of our residents and colleagues, but it is proving increasingly difficult to do so.

Nurses, carers, cleaners, maintenance workers, chefs, volunteers and many more are going into our services, half of which have coronavirus outbreaks. They do so to care for and protect some of the most vulnerable in society.

That’s why we need your help. We have been petitioning Government since the outset of the pandemic to address these shortfalls and to recognise the vulnerability of those in care homes alongside those in the NHS. Only now is it starting to be recognised that we are the second front line, and we need to be properly equipped with all the tools to safely do that job.

Additionally, we need PPE so families are able to say farewell to their loved ones as they approach the end of their lives, as they are not currently allowed in our homes for the protection of residents, staff and themselves. We are therefore asking the Government to provide our homes with adequate and reliable PPE not just for our residents and colleagues, but also to offer to families.

We are now hearing that the Government are going to make more provision for PPE and testing in care homes, but these plans are light on detail and timescales. So we will continue to need to source PPE from commercial organisations, costing sometimes five times the price of Government supplies, because those supplies have proved inconsistent and inadequate. And we will continue to need to transport PPE across the country between our homes, to meet need when homes experience a Covid 19 outbreak. And we will continue to caste a light on how vulnerable those in our homes are, residents and staff, to this pandemic. We have already lost over 200 residents where they have been confirmed or suspected as having Covid 19; and we have lost two of our colleagues.

Thank you

Yours sincerely

Sam Monaghan

Chief Executive, MHA

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