Relatives & Residents Association

We support, inform and speak on behalf of older people in care

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The year in review

22 December:

As we reach the end of the most challenging year in decades, it is time to reflect on what has passed, but also to look forward to the hope of a new year. COVID-19 has had a devastating impact. Older people needing care have been at the sharp end of the pandemic, with dire and tragic consequences. Too many lives have been taken, relationships torn apart, precious time lost.

This festive season we remember and pay tribute to the people we’ve lost and our thoughts will be with those unable to be with their family and friends. We also look forwards, to the advent of a new year and the hope it brings. Not only for eradicating the virus, but also hope for change. That we can finally end isolation in care. That we can reinstate the support so vital for protecting older people’s rights. That the spotlight on our care services will not fade with the virus but will bring the lasting change we know has been desperately needed.

There is much work to do in 2021 and R&RA will be there to champion the rights of older people needing care. But for now we wish all of our supporters and members a peaceful, restful break.

A snapshot of our work this year

  • Campaigned to End Isolation In Care calling for family/friends to be given keyworker status and for better visiting guidance from the Government
  • Successfully pressed the Government to provide free PPE for care providers, as announced in the Winter Plan
  • Expressed our disappointment with the CQC about their role during the pandemic in a letter to their chief executive, urging them to act to protect the rights of older people needing care
  • Provided evidence to Parliament’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus (in writing and two oral sessions) with our insights heavily relied upon in their damning report
  • Championed the rights of older people needing care and kept families informed about their legal rights in relation to Government guidance and policy
  • Submitted evidence to Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights on how human rights have been undermined by the Government’s mismanagement of the pandemic, as cited in the Committee’s report
  • Raised awareness of the pandemic’s impact on older people needing care in 120+ media appearances since March across TV, radio and in print
  • Provided evidence for legal action against the Government’s guidance on visiting (taken by John’s Campaign) which led to improvements in the guidance
  • Published Your Covid Stories to amplify the voices of those living through the pandemic
  • Collaborated with Dementia UK and the National Care Forum to stress the importance of continued contact and meaningful communication between care home residents and their families and friends
  • Helped families across the country with information, advice and support on the pandemic and efforts to manage it, via the R&RA Helpline

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