Key role in BBC Panorama documentary
The national social care charity Community Integrated Care has played a key role in a BBC Panorama special documentary exploring the impact of Coronavirus on the social care sector. ‘The Forgotten Frontline’ will be broadcast on BBC1 on Thursday 30th July at 9pm.
The charity approached producers of Panorama in March 2020, when the UK was in the early stages of its battle with Covid-19, encouraging them to consider following the important story that would unfold within social care. What has been created, a one-hour film that charts the journey of the charity through the peak of this crisis, is a truly powerful film that brings to life the many challenges that care sector has faced during the pandemic.
It sees Panorama spend three months in EachStep Blackley, a leading specialist dementia nursing care home operated by the charity in Manchester. It follows their colleagues through a dramatic three month period, which saw the service lock down early to protect residents, the devastating impact of the virus hitting the home, and their efforts to fight back and return to a more normal life.
Capturing tragic moments where the home lost much loved residents to the virus, as well as the joyful experiences of people making full recoveries from infections, it reveals the stark highs and lows that care services have experienced in recent months.
The documentary also examines how the crisis unfolded for Community Integrated Care nationally. It shows the many steps taken by the charity to protect its people, from deploying internal clinical and nursing specialists to support homes to proactively investing in decontaminations in a bid to halt the transmission of the virus. Its leaders also discuss the support and guidance that was offered to care providers, critical issues such as the provision of PPE, and the financial impact of the crisis.
Also drawing in contributions from a smaller independent care provider, the film provides unprecedented insight into the heart of this crisis.
Mark Adams, CEO of Community Integrated Care, says: “When we first approached Panorama, we did so aspiring to document the important role that social care workers would play in the biggest crisis of a generation.
At this time, the focus of the nation was centred on the heroism of NHS workers. We knew that social care workers were taking equally profound risks but doing so on the lowest pay in society and without the safety net of sick pay, and felt strongly that their story needed telling too.
What Panorama have captured goes much deeper that we could ever anticipated. They have portrayed the human story of a crisis that has been devastating to the sector, the people we support, their loved ones and our carers.
Everyone who watches this film will see social care in different light and understand how vital it is to society. You cannot fail watch this documentary and fail to be struck by the debt of gratitude that we owe to the people who deliver and support care
As a charity, we been candid about our experiences too, giving producers access to follow our decision making and planning as we worked through the daily challenges of the crisis. We hope that this gives viewers a strong sense of both the issues that care providers faced but also the spirit in which they stepped up to them.
We are thankful to Panorama for recognising the value of this story and creating a documentary that is so deeply compassionate, insightful and important. Above all, I would like to thank the team at EachStep Blackley, the families who have supported the programme and everyone who has helped to make it possible.”