Councillor Phil Bateman said” There is public speculation that Councils will be asked to perform yet another role, this time relating to Care Homes. Read what the
newspapers says this morning.”
Councils to take over care home COVID-19 testing
The Guardian reports that the Government has asked local directors of public health to take charge of COVID-19 testing in care homes. In a letter to sector leaders seen by the paper, care minister Helen Whately acknowledges that testing of staff and residents needs to be “more joined-up,” and describes the new arrangements as a “significant change.” The new testing regime will see public health directors take lead responsibility for testing, in discussion with directors of adult social services, local NHS bodies, and regional Public Health England directors. Elsewhere, the Telegraph reports that scientists on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) are considering recommending that care home staff be prevented from working in more than one home during the COVID-19 crisis, to help slow the spread of the virus through the care sector. While ministers have announced plans to ramp up testing in homes, and Sage has set up a new sub-group to deal specifically with care homes, scientists are reportedly concerned that basic safety measures “like making sure that people work in one care home, not 15” have not been implemented.
The Guardian, Page: 17 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 7
Watchdog investigates hospitals over care home transfers
The Care Quality Commission is investigating whether hospitals may have broken the law by discharging patients with COVID-19 back to care homes without informing managers about their positive diagnosis. The Commission is investigating a number of cases where hospitals knowingly discharged positive patients without informing care homes. The CQC is also investigating whether care home residents have died from conditions other than COVID-19 due to a lack of visits from GPs.
Daily Mail, Page: 12, 13