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Care home staff reminded of support available ahead of Channel 4 COVID drama

Sefton’s Adult Social Care and Health bosses have written to the Borough’s Care Home owners and managers reminding care home staff where they can find support and counselling if they are distressed by the forthcoming Channel 4 drama, Help.

In a letter sent out this week, Deborah Butcher, Sefton Council’s Executive Director for Adult Social Care and Health and Fiona Taylor, Chief Officer, NHS South Sefton and NHS Southport and Formby CCGs have sent a reminder of the free services available.

Scheduled to screen at 9pm on Thursday, Help features Jodie Comer as Sarah, a young care home worker and Stephen Graham as her patient, Graham. Set in a Liverpool care home, the two-hour drama covers the period around March 2020, and the arrival of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Deborah Butcher, Executive Director for Adult Social Care and Health said:

“This is an important story that needs to be told but it could bring back distressing memories and emotions for people who were working so hard to care for residents at the time in what could be traumatic conditions with little information.

“We want to highlight to any care home works affected by watching this drama, that help and support is available to them, and have written to all care home owners and managers to remind them what resources their staff can access.”

In Sefton, these include wellbeing and counselling services Qwell, Listening Ear and the Cheshire and Merseyside Resilience HUB, although for some staff, talking it through with colleagues or a manager may be enough.

As the size and scale of the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in early 2019, Sefton Council set up frequent communications with care homes to establish their requirements and to provide them with PPE and other equipment.

Fiona Taylor, Chief Officer, NHS South Sefton and NHS Southport and Formby CCGs added:

“During the early stages of the pandemic, it was vital that we set up these communications networks to support our homes.

“It is just as important now for us to continue to be in touch to let those workers who are at the frontline know that we are still here and still ready to provide the support they need.”