Susan van de Ven

Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Bassingbourn, Melbourn, Meldreth and Whaddon Learn more

Are those in and around care settings being adequately protected?

by Susan van de Ven on 3 May, 2020

Cambridgeshire County Council Health Committee meets virtually on Tuesday May 5, the first time since the UK declared a Public Health Emergency on January 30.  I’ve submitted the following questions in light of current concerns around care home settings.

In recent weeks and days, in reaction to reporting on deaths in care homes, and the discharge of untested patients from hospitals into care home settings, understanding the behaviour and future prospects of the Covid-19 pandemic has shifted to the care home setting.  It is increasingly recognized that care settings hold a key to managing or failing to manage both the current outbreak as well as a second wave of infection.

We welcome the greater focus on and sharing of information detail by the CQC, and reassurances in CCC Covid-19 Highlight Reports on attention to PPE and testing in Cambridgeshire care settings

However greater clarity is needed, and should be expected, certainly in the context of CCC’s overarching responsibilities for social care, public health, and health emergency planning, in order to establish confidence about the protection and safety of vulnerable people, their carers and care home staff, and those who come into contact with them – and also in the wider domiciliary care setting and the communities that surround them.

In this spirit we ask for the following information:

1.  Cambridgeshire data about discharges from hospital into care homes: Is CCC informed as to how many patients have been discharged from hospital into care homes to make space for Covid-19 patients?  Do we know how many of those were tested for Covid-19 before being moved?  How frequently is that information collated?  Please provide figures.

2.  Cambridgeshire data about capacity in care homes – what was made available when and how much of it has been occupied?

3.  Numbers of tests made available, carried out, and when (by week), how many have been positive, and what action has then followed?

4.  Care home death data by week, and comparison with the five-year average.

5.  How the above data is shared between NHS, CCC and care home owners and managers.

6.  PPE information: specification, supply, adequacy.  Care

home PPE includes an apron rather than full gown.  While this may meet PHE requirements, is this considered by care home staff and PH officers to provide sufficient protection?  What about face shields?  What PPE is provided to non-patient facing staff in care homes?

7.  Protocols for care workers moving between homes and between patients:  Do care workers move between care homes, and/or between care homes and private homes of vulnerable adults?  What is the protocol for changing PPE between seeing each person and how is this monitored?

8.  Care in people’s own homes: how is that being managed and how are issues reported?

9.  Sharing information about Covid-19 infection and deaths of residents and staff in care homes and domiciliary care settings:  What are CCC’s protocols for sharing information with staff, members, and the public?  Are local members kept informed?

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