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Care Homes, Local Update

by timpickstone on 16 April, 2020

A lot of people have raised concerns about how care homes are coping during the current coronavirus crisis. The following information has been shared with Councillors in Bury and will hopefully let people know what is happening locally. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you think there are points that we need to raise or take forwards:

“The council has secured emergency PPE supplies from the national stock for homes to use in an emergency; set up a network of market traders to support homes struggling to source food, with the school meal service on standby to support; launched a GM-wide recruitment campaign to ensure vacancies are filled; and introduced a range of financial measures to ensure the ongoing viability of care homes.

All care homes have dedicated support available from a named GP practice, and this clinical support is available every day. 

Care homes are the residence of some of the most vulnerable patients in the community, and the care plans of all residents are being reviewed. These reviews, to check things like medications, are important for patients where their medical history means they may be at higher risk of severe infection from COVID-19.

There are 41 residential and nursing homes in Bury supporting around 1,600 older people, those with learning disabilities and mental health needs, and those with acquired brain injury.

Among the specific measures: 
– Care home resident testing is in place for those residents showing symptoms – just under 50 have been tested so far.
– Testing for social care staff began for Bury on 3 April, in line with the Greater Manchester programme – 114 social care symptomatic staff were tested last week.
– PPE stores for emergency supplies have been open every day, with a designated officer working with regional and national colleagues to ensure that supplies can be escalated. 
– Each home has a dedicated Provider Relationship Officer, with ‘out of hours’ support available. 
– Financial support: includes paying the full cost of vacancies to ensure there are enough beds available to meet demand; helping meet the cost of extra staffing and enhanced rates for one-to-one support and those needing increased care; paying for any additional PPE they have had to purchase; keeping open a customer’s care package while they are in hospital. 
– The council is also about to launch an online forum adult social care providers to provide peer support, share information, and collaborate.”

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