COVID-19 Team Blog: Carol Hopwood
30 April 2020
3 minutes to read.
We’re proud of what our teams are achieving at Carpenters during the coronavirus pandemic. Written by colleagues across multiple divisions of the company, they hopefully provide a small insight into our continuing working practices and values as we all adjust to our new world.
Here is the first in the series from our Head of Serious and Catastrophic Injury Department, Carol Hopwood.
Necessity is the mother of invention
“Plato’s original concept has never been more relevant than in the current climate as we all work to find solutions to the challenges faced resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. We've had to be agile and responsive in finding solutions to the problems thrown up by the current Covid19 pandemic, ensuring our clients’ needs continue to be identified and met during these challenging times.
Fortunately, most of our team were already set up for home working so we have been able to transition quickly and adopt a business as usual approach. We are maximising the use of technology to communicate with our clients, the Courts, our professional contacts and each other. Video conferencing is working really well and our “new normal” will certainly see greater use of this moving forward.
However, our primary focus, as always, is our clients, many of whom have very serious life changing injuries. It has been necessary to ensure that their care and support continues, that there are contingency plans in place to deal with care worker absences caused by the virus and to identify new challenges and how best we can help. As well as the obvious practical issues, it became apparent very quickly that many of our clients were struggling to process and understand what was happening. Lockdown brings its own issues. Feelings of isolation and loneliness have intensified as visits from friends and family stop, household dynamics change as people are stuck at home together and that all important structure and routine that is so important for our brain injured clients starts to disintegrate.
To help address this, we have taken a very proactive approach and significantly increased the level of communication with our clients and their families. For some, we are the only people they talk to outside of their care team. We are just checking in, chatting about their day and being a listening and reassuring ear. Practical tips like reducing how much of the news they are watching, managing fatigue, and helping with technology have all been well received.
Some of our team are also trustees of local Headway charity branches and have been working hard to ensure that members are also supported. WhatsApp group chats and video calls, quizzes, online bingo, singing and poetry are just a few of the activities that are keeping spirits up.
The team has also been proactive in sourcing some PPE which we collected and dropped off to a local nursing home.
So whilst we are living in challenging times, the community spirit, the innovative thinking and the compassion for our fellow human beings has been humbling. We will all learn from this, perhaps appreciate more what we have and what is truly important. In some ways, the new normal will hopefully be better than the old normal."
About the author
Carol Hopwood, Head of Serious and Catastrophic Injury
Carol qualified as a Solicitor in 1993. She is a Headway UK approved panel solicitor, founding trustee and secretary of Headway Sefton, UKABIF and APIL member. She is also the APIL North West Regional Co-ordinator. Having sold her own practice in 2013, she headed the Liverpool Catastrophic Injury Team for another national practice before joining Carpenters Group to become Head of the Serious and Catastrophic Injury Team.