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UK: Older people in care homes abandoned to die amid Government failures during coronavirus pandemic - new report

Key failings included decisions to discharge thousands of untested hospital patients into care homes and imposition of blanket DNARs <br> <br>Care home managers and staff say they were left without guidance, PPE or access to testing. Read more


Regulator upgrades care home after introduction of ‘robust action plan’

Mowat Court, which is operated by Care UK, was previously rated ‘weak’ following an inspection in January but was upgraded to ‘adequate’ after a follow-up in February which found the service had carried out a review of routines and systems for cleaning and a “more efficient and safer way of working” had been implemented.

The Inspectorate said: “A deep clean of people’s bedrooms, furniture and care equipment had taken place. All furniture, beds and mattresses were checked and replaced as necessary. Additional decluttering of communal areas had taken place, further reducing the risk of cross contamination of infection to people living and working in the service.

25 Feb 2021

Coronavirus: one of UK's largest care home firms introduces 'no jab, no job' policy

Care UK says new staff must have received Covid vaccination before they start work

One of the UK’s largest care home operators has instituted a no jab, no job policy for new staff amid ongoing concern about vaccine take-up among care workers.

A spokesperson for Care UK, which runs 120 homes and has seen more than two-thirds of its staff vaccinated, said: “Everyone applying for a role which requires them to go into a home will be expected to have been vaccinated before they start work.”

The move comes after Barchester, which operates more than 220 private care homes, said it would insist that current staff are vaccinated, warning that if they “refuse … on non-medical grounds [they] will, by reason of their own decision, make themselves unavailable for work”.

25 Feb 2021

BREAKING NEWS: Care home COVID deaths drop by a third in England and Wales 

The number of COVID-19 care home related deaths fell by a third in the latest weekly statistics reported by the ONS.

There were 1,160 COVID related deaths in care homes in England and Wales in the week ending 12 February, down by 566 on the previous week.

The second consecutive weekly decline of COVID deaths comes after the government met its target of offering vaccinations to all elderly care homes in England.

24 Feb 2021

Rise in care homes using air purifiers to remove viruses in air such as Covid

There has been a rise in care homes using air purifiers to improve the indoor air quality and remove particles, bacteria and viruses such as COVID-19.

MedicAir, which purifies the air with medical grade purification technology, has found demand for its product has risen in a drive by care homes to keep as virus free as possible.

The risk of catching COVID-19 is at its highest level when you are indoors as it is spread through small droplets in the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or exhales. These droplets can land on objects or surfaces around the person which can then infect other people if they touch the surface and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.

24 Feb 2021

Jo Whiley says people with learning disabilities are 'neglected' after her sister is admitted to hospital with Covid

Broadcaster Jo Whiley missed her Radio 2 show last night after her younger sister with learning disabilities and diabetes was admitted to hospital with coronavirus.

Ms Whiley's sister Francis, aged 53, who lives in a care home in Northamptonshire, was admitted to hospital after testing positive for coronavirus last week.

Last night, Ms Whiley took to Twitter and told her followers: "I can’t do my @BBCRadio2 show this evening. My sister Frances is v poorly in hospital with Covid. I don’t feel shiny or happy tonight, I feel very scared."

23 Feb 2021

Care homes should refuse to employ staff who do not get vaccine, says care leader

Care homes should be allowed to refuse to hire staff who have not had a COVID-19 jab, unless they have a legitimate medical reason, says a care leader.

Mario Kreft, chair of Care Forum Wales, which represents nearly 500 independent care providers in Wales, believes ‘care homes are duty bound’ to do everything in their power to protect their residents and staff.

There have been 1,709 care home resident deaths in Wales with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 since 1 March last year. Despite this, it is estimated around a fifth (20 per cent) of care home staff in Wales have not had the vaccine.

23 Feb 2021
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News updates 

COVID-19: Care home visits with hand-holding to be allowed as first step on PM's roadmap out of lockdown

Hugging and kissing will not be allowed, as the government looks to start easing lockdown restrictions.

Care home residents in England will be able to hold hands with one named visitor starting from 8 March, the government has announced.

Those inside facilities will be able to have one person who can regularly come to see them - and while hand-holding will be allowed, hugging and kissing will not. Read more

Restart essential care home visits in England, relatives demand

Campaigners urge government to allow visits, saying it is a matter of ‘fundamental human rights’

Relatives of people isolated in care homes are demanding a restart to essential visiting by 1 March declaring it “a matter of safety, common decency, and fundamental human rights”.

But care operators and the government believe it may be too soon, with the risk of infection still high and second vaccination doses yet to be administered to many vulnerable elderly people. Read more

Can care homes force their staff to have the Covid vaccine?

In the wake of up to a fifth of care workers refusing the Covid vaccine and some care providers saying they will make it a requirement for all new employees to have the jab, asked legal experts whether it is a breach of human rights and what the risks are of making it mandatory.

The National Care Association revealed that some care workers are refusing the vaccine for ‘cultural reasons’ while others are doing it on health grounds or are worried it has not been tested on enough people.Read more

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