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COVID CONVERSATIONS - Caring during the Pandemic

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Sixth in a series of webinars examining human rights issues that have been brought into sharp focus by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The pandemic has had a devastating impact on our care homes. From March to June 2020, according to NISRA, care home residents accounted for 41.3% of COVID-19 related deaths, while care home staff were often left to work under extreme pressure, sometimes without adequate PPE provision. Following the resignation of all nine board members of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) in June, groups including Amnesty International UK, CAJ, and UNISON called for a fully independent investigation into the handling of the pandemic in care homes. Though a partial review has since been announced by the Health Minister, he appears to have ruled out holding a full public inquiry.

Meanwhile, unpaid carers have been providing support to others in even more difficult circumstances than usual, with many shouldering the emotional burden of looking after someone who may be at high risk from Covid-19.

This webinar will consider caring during the pandemic from all sides, including examining what measures now need to be taken to protect both those being cared for and those caring for them.

Speakers include:

  • Patricia McKeown, Regional Secretary, UNISON
  • Professor Ann-Marie Gray, Ulster University
  • Siobhan Casey, Age NI
  • Fiona McMahon, tide

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