By Local Democracy Reporter Ciaran Duggan
At least seven care homes in Kent could be used to accommodate patients being discharged from hospital who test positive for coronavirus this winter.
The undisclosed sites have been described as “hot homes” by government, with more than 100 beds expected to be made available in Kent.
This comes nine days after Boris Johnson’s Government issued a letter to all local authorities in England requesting they name potential care home sites that can be used for taking in Covid positive patients discharged from hospital.
Earlier today (October 22), Canterbury county councillor Ida Linfield (Lib Dem) pressed one of Kent County Council’s (KCC) public health bosses on the “safety” measures being put in place for care home workers during a virtual public meeting.
Cllr Clair Bell (Con), the cabinet member for public health at Maidstone County Hall, said: “Safety of the workforce is of paramount importance and this will be a key component of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) registration process.”
The county has the highest number of registered care home beds in England – around 14,579 – but a quarter of all Covid-19 deaths in Kent were reported from care homes between March and June.
Health experts say that deaths could have been avoided if the Government had not told the NHS to discharge elderly patients from hospitals without taking a Covid test.
More than 120 of the 543 care homes in Kent said in the summer that they had problems accessing personal protective equipment (PPE). Others struggled for swab tests while some could not isolate infected residents.
Last month, the Department of Health and Social Care asked local authorities to produce its winter plans by October 30, which includes care home support.
The proposals will cover a range of topics, including arrangements for hospital discharge, the need for extra bed capacity and measures in place to reduce the spread of Covid in the adult social care sector, such as residential homes.
However, a further letter was sent out to councils on October 13 asking local authorities to name specific care home sites that could be used for winter hospital discharge for patients testing positive with coronavirus.
Three days later (October 16) KCC and Medway Council jointly submitted a list of a potential seven sites with more than 100 beds, KCC’s full council was told.
Details have been shared with the CQC, whose workforce will be conducting a review of the potential sites for registration and to “ensure compliance”.
Cllr Bell said: “The proposed sites have been shared with CQC colleagues and they are in support of the numbers and the potential settings.
“The settings will be formalised after the CQC has conducted its inspections. At the current time we cannot identify which homes will be taking part.”
Is that a picture of one the care homes? Certainly it has its full share of the over 60’s!
Haha, comment of the day!
Well said George, what is a concern to me is I know of an elderly gentleman who has carers who pop in to his home to check on him twice a day one lady told him as well as her community work she works 12 hour night shifts at three different care homes in the course of a week two nights at one, one night at another and two nights at a third. Working 90 hours per week in total. When the gentleman told her that’s a lot of hours she replied “it’s either that or I go on the game to pay my bills” if she is working that many hours she is a health risk to herself and others.
So there you have it! The bumbling blitherer, Johnson instructed hospitals to discharge elderly, frail sick people with Covid Virus, into care homes during Lock Down, causing hundreds to die daily! Its time the Tories got rid of him, like they did Thatcher when she went mad!