16 April 2020
In almost thirty years working in the care sector, this is without doubt the most serious challenge we have ever faced.
COVID-19 is entirely indiscriminate. Anyone can get it. Anyone can spread it.
As the number of infections increase daily across Moray and Highland, we are working day and night to protect our beloved residents from this wretched virus.
Our residents are taking the lockdown in their stride, as one would expect. They are stoic. They remain in good spirits but obviously miss their family and friends. Technology is keeping us connected and we have regular video calls between residents and their loved ones.
Inevitably, our staff numbers are down - by around 5% - as a result of employees self isolating or shielding due to underlying health conditions.
Those at work are fearful, worried they could transfer the virus to residents or to their own family members. I feel very humbled and privileged to work alongside them and I am immensely proud of them, and their families, for the sacrifice they are making to ensure the welfare of our residents.
I also want to thank relatives and friends for the patience and understanding they have shown over the past month. I know how painful this period has been for you and your loved ones.
I am grateful too for the wonderful show of support we have received from individuals and businesses across the community. Your many acts of kindness make a huge difference to our team.
I am enormously grateful to the dedicated team at Aberlour Pharmacy, which serves all of our care homes and provides a vital service for the community around Speyside. They have worked tirelessly to deliver prescriptions to those in need at a time of unprecedented demand.
So, tonight, as we clap together across the country, please take a moment to celebrate our remarkable care home and pharmacy key workers for the sacrifices they are making to support our vulnerable residents and the wider community.