Lisa welcomed everyone at the carers group meeting and also Dr Angela one of our Trustees. It was also a pleasure to welcome Louis the grandson of one of the carers who is a student at college and is interested in medicine. It was an interesting meeting as usual and carers in turn raised their concerns and questions.
Carers asked Lisa how her meeting went with Matt Hancock and Lisa informed everyone that visiting care homes is now the decision of the local Director of Public Health and the care home. She has therefore written to the local Director of Public Health and now waiting for a response. Lisa informed everyone also the Matt Hancock said it could be early Spring next year for the vaccine. Dr Angela mentioned at this point about an interesting BBC4 radio programme presented by Jim Al-Khalili where Sarah Gilbert talks about how she and her Oxford team developed the vaccine for Covid-19 so fast.
Everyone then wanted to know whether I had any response from the CEO of Barnet Carers regarding the carers ID card. Lisa mentioned that unfortunately she still had no response but we could all raise this next week when we are joined with Cllr Sachin Rajput the Chairman of the Adults and Safeguarding committee.
One of the carers then mentioned about how devastating it is for family carers not being able to visit the loved ones in the care homes. She sent me earlier an article which was in the Observer newspaper last week which highlights how this has become a very serious mental health issue and how it denies people’s human rights. Another carer also raised how important it was to have a carers assessment which is free. Lisa mentioned that this was a good idea for any carer who needed help not only with any adaptations in the house but if carers needed to know if they were entitled to any benefits.
Some other matters of a personal nature were also discussed and Dr Angela was able to provide some advice which members were grateful.
The meeting ended with one of the carers reading a poem written by another lady carer which was quite moving.