Opinion: Care homes deserved better support

PUBLISHED: 08:30 25 April 2020

Barking MP Margaret Hodge is proud of all community groups during the coronavirus pandemic.

Barking MP Margaret Hodge is proud of all community groups during the coronavirus pandemic.


Over the past few weeks our everyday lives have been turned upside down and we have all been tested in different ways.

So it has been so uplifting to see our community come together to support one another. I have been particularly proud to see the hard work of so many community groups. To name just a few – the Thames Ward Community Project, the Hedgecock Community Centre and Al Madina Mosque have all gone above and beyond in supporting vulnerable people. To everyone helping during testing times, thank you!

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My main priority for Barking and Dagenham has been to stand up for the most vulnerable people throughout this emergency.

This has meant speaking out for care home staff and residents as they have sadly been neglected by the government. I have been pushing the secretary of state for health to provide much-needed protective equipment to care homes. Many have been struggling to get hold of essential provisions and basic protective equipment, such as face masks and surgical gloves. I have been working to put in place better support for care homes in getting hold of food and other essentials. Thankfully the council has now stepped in to help support care homes with this.

And I have been urging the government to roll out Covid-19 testing for care home staff and residents.

Testing all keyworkers must be a priority for the government; we owe this to every worker. I am pleased to see the government has finally said testing in care homes will begin, but I will be monitoring closely to make sure it starts in Barking and Dagenham as soon as possible.

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