Following a visit to the Shooting star Children’s Hospice in Hampton, Munira Wilson MP highlighted a gap in government contingency planning for coronavirus for children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses.
In a letter sent today to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Munira raised questions around the “resilience of the social care workforce” in the face of expected measures such as widespread self-isolation. At present, there are over 122,000 vacancies in the sector, with an estimated 8 million unpaid carers in the UK.
Munira Wilson, MP for Twickenham and Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, said:
“Shooting Star Hospice in Hampton offers amazing care for children with life-limiting conditions, as well as support for their families, who often also provide extensive unpaid care.
“I am deeply concerned what will happen to vulnerable children with serious illnesses who require round-the-clock care in the event of widespread self-isolation. What plans are in place if care workers cannot get to work? What support will be provided to unpaid carers who cannot grocery-shop, collect medication or even be in the same room as the children for whom they are caring?
“The situation locally points to a potential problem facing the country at large. The government has so far done a good job keeping the public informed, but we need assurances for children who face significant challenges daily and their anxious families.”
– from a press release - 9 March 2020