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The chief executive of United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) has criticised the government over the lack of testing and costs of PPE, accusing them of being ‘disinterested in the 715,000’ care workers during the pandemic.
In her open letter to Stuart Miller, director of Adult Social Care Delivery at the Department for Health and Social Care, Dr Jane Townson expresses her concerns with the lack of information to home care providers and how she is ‘frustrated by the focus of politicians on care homes,’ saying the only message for home care providers was to ‘follow government guidance on PPE’.
Her letter is in response to the missive from the Department for Health and Social Care warning care providers that the UK is experiencing a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases.
She states: ‘If the government is serious about minimising the spread of COVID19 among the care workforce and those they support in communities, it needs to fully fund the cost of PPE for care workers and ensure there is availability and accessibility of antigen testing as required for the home care workforce as well as for those in care homes.’
Dr Townson has asked the government for an explanation into lack of testing after reports by officials to meetings UKHCA had attended made it clear ‘inadequate laboratory capacity for testing’ is the reason for a lower prioritisation of testing in homecare.
The government said UK laboratory daily testing capacity was more than 370,000 last week
She added routine testing is not available for home care workers in areas where there are lockdowns and it was ‘unacceptable’ some areas are ‘experiencing a fast and efficient service’ for testing while others are being directed hundreds of miles away and having to ‘wait days for results’.
For the full story visit the homecare.co.uk website.
The government is to spend £588 million on helping people who require domiciliary care or care home support after being discharged from hospital.
The funding is part of a three-billion pound package provided to protect and prepare health and social care in the event of a second peak of COVID-19, during the coming winter months, and follows a £1.3bn funding made available via the NHS to support the discharge process in March.
From 1 September, the NHS will make a comprehensive care and health assessment for any ongoing care needs, including determining funding eligibility. This will provide up to six weeks of funded care following discharge from hospital.
The government also said NHS Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC) assessments will restart from September, ensuring those with complex health needs can continue to access the care they need for free.
’The road to recovery is quicker’ when receiving care ‘in the comfort of home’
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said: “We know for the majority of people the road to recovery can be quicker when they receive care and support in the comfort of their own home.
“This funding will help ensure people can be safely discharged from hospital knowing they will get the vital follow-on care they need to recover fully from treatment.
“We’re also making sure those with complex health needs continue to receive the best support possible in the community.”
The department states most people will be discharged back to their homes, however, they anticipate a very small proportion will need, and benefit from, short or long term residential, nursing home or hospice care.
The government added, no-one should be discharged from hospital directly to a care home without the involvement of the local authority.
All patients are required to be tested prior to discharge to a care home and no care home should be forced to admit an existing or new resident who has tested positive for coronavirus if the home would be unable to cope with the impact of their illness.
For more information visit the homecare.co.uk website
More home care and a shift away from long-term support in care homes is recommended by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services in England (ADASS).
A report by ADASS calls for a down-sizing of care homes with more care provided to people in their own homes.
ADASS president James Bullion stated in the report: ‘We have the opportunity to be radical, to be person-centred and to be transformative. We must seize this opportunity with both hands’.
‘Down-sizing’ care homes
The ADASS report stated: ‘For too long care has been built around organisations and buildings such as hospitals, day care centres and care homes.
‘The future must be about what works for us as individuals and our families, with a whole series of local organisations working together to organise care and support that enables us to work, stay independent at home, and be as engaged in our communities as we want.
‘More of this care is likely to be provided in our own homes and will be integrated into specialist housing and care packages akin to current extra care provision.
‘Any short-term support (particularly in the immediate post-Covid-19 period) for particular types of care provision should be tied to a commitment to participate in the reform conversation and where necessary to downsizing particular types of provision, such as potentially some forms of care home provision’.
The report stated that ‘reform must be underpinned by the Home First principle’, with ‘a much stronger emphasis’ on some existing types of care and support which are housing based, such as ‘supported living’ and ‘extra care housing’, as well as new and innovative forms of care.
‘In turn, this may mean a shift away from existing types of residential care, for example, a lesser reliance on long stay, larger scale care homes although they may continue to play a key role in reablement and short-term care.’
More people are dying at home of stroke rather than dialling 999 during the pandemic, because of a ‘stiff upper lip’ mentality by over 65s, a charity reveals.
A poll conducted for the Stroke Association has discovered more than a third (35 per cent) of over 65s said they are least likely to call the emergency services during the pandemic for non-COVID symptoms like signs of stroke.
Fifty-one per cent said they would not call 999 because they didn’t want to “burden already busy emergency services”, despite this age group being at the greatest risk of stroke.
The findings are the result of a poll of 1,000 people conducted between 1 – 31 May by Eden Stanley.
Stroke deaths double as ‘stoicism kills’
Stroke deaths registered at home have been 54 per cent higher than the five-year average during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Office for National Statistics figures. More than double as many stroke deaths happened in the week ending 3 April, when compared to the five-year average.
For further information visit the homecare.co.uk website.