As I reflect on 2020/21 one word comes to mind: resilience. I have been profoundly impressed and very proud – though not surprised – by the extraordinary response of all my colleagues to the pandemic.
When we recruit for many of our roles, we value personal qualities above specific experience. People who are caring, dedicated, collaborative and determined to make a positive difference can very quickly become part of Care Plus.
Those qualities really came to the fore last year as we saw frontline staff continue to provide great care and support, safely and with courage.
The people we support in Care Plus were among the most vulnerable to this awful virus and we knew we had to act quickly and decisively to keep people healthy and to literally save lives.
Our domiciliary care teams worked day and night to provide close personal care enabling people to live safely and in some cases die at home with the people they love. They did this not without fear but in spite of fear because they knew that what they did was more important than ever and was making a difference. The retirement living team quickly adapted to working very differently, providing reassurance, advice, clear communication and practical help to 2,000 residents who were among the most vulnerable in our communities.
The public response to our front line care and support workers was vividly demonstrated when the BBC filmed a ‘Clap for Carers’ taking place outside one of our schemes. Broadcast on all news programmes the following day and even shown on the festive edition of Britain’s Got Talent on ITV, it was a moving and inspiring show of respect for outstanding people working in the most difficult of circumstances.