"Music can provide access even when no medication can; to movement, to speech, to life ... music is not a luxury, but a necessity." Oliver Sacks
My friend, Jane Glitre, runs the Spitz Charitable Trust. We have known each other for thirty years, from the time
we both travelled to war-torn Sarajevo. Today Jane
finds herself in the middle of a new war.
Bridgeside Lodge Care Home in Islington,
London, is a wonderful place, confirmed by the home's support for the
work with music for the
can get a hint of this by watching this great video.
visited Jane at the home two years ago and was hoping to go there
regularly, but my own health problems got in the way of that.
Along with care homes across the country a number of Bridgeside residents have died from Coronavirus. One of the latest victms was former
Islington Labour Councillor, Wally Burgess, who died on 13th
April, aged 79. Jane tells me that he enjoyed playing the piano at the music
we learned that hospitals had run out of protective gowns. So
what is the situation in care homes like Bridgeside?
this week The Daily Mail reported that, “Care home bosses have
accused the Government of a 'shambolic' response to the sector's
coronavirus crisis… Insiders said they were receiving only 'paltry'
and 'haphazard' deliveries of essential items such as masks, gloves
and aprons - mandatory for all healthcare workers."
employee at Bridgeside told the Islington Gazette: “We still don’t
have the right PPE, and Public Health England keep changing their
guidance and using PPE based on what is available. It’s a bit of a
mess and I think it’s too little too late, which is very sad. It’s
very hard and it’s very upsetting.”
don’t worry Health Secretary, Matt
Hancock tells us: “I am deeply conscious that people in residential
care are among the most vulnerable to coronavirus. We have already
begun testing social care workers and will roll this out nationwide
over the coming days … We will test all current care home residents
with coronavirus symptoms and all new care home residents who are
discharged from hospital into care.”
The sad news from Bridgeside gives the lie to that.
we learn that Matt
Hancock accepted £32,000 from the chairman of a think-tank which
wants to scrap the NHS and
£5,000 from the director of a private nursing firm which supplies
agency workers to the health service.
Jane tells me that, "when we are able to return to Bridgeside we will work with the staff, bringing music to every part of the building. It will be a part of the healing process for the staff, residents and grieving relatives. A place to reflect and pay tribute."