The future of the later living sector post Covid-19: National Property Trade Roundtable webinar event
National Property Trade recently hosted a stellar panel of later living business leaders for its inaugural virtual roundtable to discuss how the sector has fared during the Covid-19 pandemic and what the future might look like.
National Property Trade CEO Cormac Henderson chaired the discussion and was joined by Howard Nankivell, CEO of Rangeford Villages; Honor Barratt, MD of Birchgrove; David Gabriel, Resales Director at McCarthy & Stone and Peter Martin, Development & Commercial Manager at Enterprise Retirement Living.
The group shared their own fascinating experiences and learnings before discussing the ongoing challenges and what might be done to help protect the health of the sector long term. What was abundantly clear was the sense of collective appreciation for how organisations and their staff up and down the country have been working tirelessly to ensure the health and wellbeing of their residents during these challenging times.
Some of the key discussion points included:
- The lack of coordinated policy advice for care homes, with mixed messages coming from central and local government, Public Health England, the Care Quality Commission and Clinical Commissioning Groups. There needs to be specific policy created for the sector, beyond what it used for the NHS
- A feeling that the Government had forgotten about the elderly population – causing anxiety in communities. A retirement community act might help to solve this
- Operational challenges on how these communities will work when families are allowed to visit again
- Improved Government regulation will help free up investment for the sector, allowing the creation of more independent living communities which can significantly alleviate strain on the NHS
- The balance of creating safe environments without taking away vital independence
- The HR challenges regarding support of vital frontline staff who work extremely hard to keep residents happy but are being pushed to capacity at this hard time
- Implications for the test, track and trace if suddenly we see large numbers of community staff having to self-isolate
- Resales and new sales will be commencing again soon with significant HSE-focused changes in place
Covid-19 has highlighted the increased need for shared, open-source learning and evolution for the industry. Collectively we can improve the quality of life enjoyed by our senior citizens and the quality of interactions they experience with their families. It is important now, more than ever, to imagine a world where our most fragile can thrive and why we must learn the lessons of the great pandemic of 2020. We look forward to facilitating more interesting discussions on the sector over the coming months.