We are all pulling together to continue to deliver care for the people of Edinburgh during this crisis. And, as a result, many of our health and social care workforce have been redeployed into roles that are quite different to what they did before.

Kirsten Hey is usually an Occupational Therapist in the South East locality and is currently working as a Social Care Worker in Inchview Care Home. When asked about how she’s finding her new position, she said:

“In my redeployed role, I’m serving meals, doing some dishes, assisting with personal care, helping to reassure residents who are missing their families, assisting people with reduced mobility, helping and encouraging people to eat, delivering clean laundry to the rooms and much more.

It’s only been two weeks and I have so much respect for the care home workers. The work is physical and tiring but it also needs a lot of emotional skill and understanding. The staff really know and understand the residents and care about their welfare, and they do it all with patience, good humour and compassion!

Way back in the 90s when I worked at the old Royal Infirmary, one of my occupational therapy colleagues was introduced to a patient as “the OT lady.” The patient misheard or misunderstood and thought she was “the old tea-lady.” Twenty five years later, there’s a pandemic and I’m doing social care worker shifts at Inchview and have indeed become an old tea lady!”

A care home worker with a tray of tea for residents

Old is a relative concept, but a good cup of tea is always gratefully received!