Over the last year, a significant amount of collaboration has taken place between the Ceredigion care providers and public sector organisations.

Throughout this period, a considerable amount of access to specialist officers and professionals has been made freely available to ensure that each provider had the required information, advice and resources to support their staff, residents and families throughout the pandemic. This access has been made available seven days a week including evenings when required.

Support included the provision of free personal protection equipment (PPE), scrubs for staff, beds, trolleys and any other items identified as required. These resources were provided promptly and supported the care provider in maintaining safe services throughout challenging periods of outbreaks. Overall in excess of £1.2m of funding (being direct additional financial support) has been provided through the Council and the Health Board, on top of the free PPE provision estimated to be worth a further £500,000.

As part of the management of COVID-19 outbreaks, over 267 planning meetings took place from April 2020, with attendance from a range of specialist officers from the Ceredigion County Council and Hywel Dda University Health Board, who responded to the needs of the settings when required.

One-to-one sessions have been made available when required to support with the reviewing of risk assessments for family visits, reviewing protocols and procedures specific to the setting, or to discuss any concerns that required additional support or assistance from a range of Local Authority and Health professionals.

The first steps to offer visiting to families has now began through our safe visiting arrangements and homes continue to utilise the Welsh Government initiative to develop and provide safe visiting pods for homes.

One provider said: “Support has been at the end of the phone for what seemed to be 24 hours a day seven days a week to give help and advice. They have been there to solve practical problems we have encountered with sourcing equipment, they have been there to listen us when we have been stressed and needed a listening ear and, they have been there as a constant reliable link between Care homes, Social Services, Public Health Wales and Hywel Dda.”

As we progress to the recovery phase we continue to support each provider through this next phase.

Sian Howys the Statutory Director of Social Services said: ”The way that Social Care, Health and the Care home providers have worked tirelessly together during the most challenging times has ensured that our most vulnerable residents have been fully supported and cared for.”