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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


Covid-19: 'Not yet appropriate' to ease care home visiting rules

Visiting at care homes cannot be eased any further yet, Northern Ireland's chief nursing officer has said.

Charlotte McArdle contacted care home providers and trust officials with the news, in an email seen by BBC News NI.

Public health colleagues have decided it would "not yet be appropriate" to move to the next stage of relaxing restrictions, the email read.

Visiting at care homes has been restricted to try to protect residents from Covid-19.

A four-stage plan for easing was launched at the beginning of May 2021.

Since then, as part of the first stage called Cautious First Steps, residents have been able to have two visitors in their room up to three times a week, and go out on trips.

The next phase - called Gradual Easing - would have seen four people allowed to visit up to four times a week.

24 Jun 2021

Letter: Residents deny claims of informal discussions over Ilkley care home plan and any implied support

The former Hollycroft Care Home in Ilkley. A planning application has been submitted to demolish the building to make way for a new build care home

THANK you for publishing the news that planning permission has been submitted for the demolition of Hollycroft in West Ilkley, and its replacement with a large modern care home.

Hollycroft is a Key Unlisted Historic Building and lies within the Ilkley Conservation Area. It was built in 1904 as a private home which was later converted to a care home which operated for forty years. It has been left empty for over four years and was allowed to degrade by its owners. The grounds are currently a bit of a refuge for wildlife.

24 Jun 2021

Social care leaders tell government to 'act now' and deliver social care reforms

Social care leaders have written to the Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care asking them to ‘act now’ to reform the social care system and to publish its proposals before the Summer Recess.

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Care England, Social Care Institute for Excellence and Care Provider Alliance have written a joint letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Matt Hancock setting out three priority areas for action.

As a first step, they want government to ‘urgently address’ short-term funding challenges, which have been worsened by Covid-19. They argue an immediate injection of money is needed to enable short-term stability and avoid potential serious risks.

23 Jun 2021

LEGAL VIEW: Care providers should support mandatory vaccination ‘without delay’

Following the government’s announcement of a new law making COVID vaccinations for care home staff mandatory, Paul Ridout, Managing Director, Ridouts Professional Services Ltd, says providers should support the policy without delay.

All staff in care homes must be vaccinated against COVID says the Department of Health & Social Care. However, the law will not be changed before October 2021 and then there will be a grace period of four more months. This is simply too little, too late.  This proposal is needed now or not at all.

Care homes have a clear duty to protect residents and other staff from the danger of infection.

23 Jun 2021

Social care leaders ramp-up pressure on PM to deliver reform

Leaders of organisations representing adult social care have today urged the PM, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to reform England’s social care system.

The letter, whose signatories include Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO of Care England, and Kathryn Smith, CEO of the Social Care Institute for Excellence, calls on the government to publish its proposals before the Summer Recess.

It states: “In common with all people who draw on care and support, and colleagues working across social care, we are clear that the time to deliver reform is now.”

22 Jun 2021

Care home challenges older people stereotypes by ditching 'stooping pensioners' road signs

A Surrey care home has invested in stereotype-busting new traffic signs along its driveway, depicting dancing couples full of energy and vigour, in a bid to change perceptions of older people as being “frail, slow-moving and often simply weary of life.”

The Huntington & Langham Estate in Hindhead has replaced its previous signage of 'stooping pensioners' to emphasise there is no such thing as “over the hill” and there should not be an age barrier to a joyful life.

With the estate accessed by a long driveway, the team wanted to create an early impression that would be seen on the visitor's first arrival, which saw the signs commissioned to replace more traditional ‘elderly people’ signs.

Charlie Hoare, director of the Huntington & Langham Estate said: “Older people are all too easily pigeonholed as being frail, slow-moving and often simply weary of life. The truth is though that’s far from the case.

"In fact, if you had driven down our drive last week, you would have had to be mindful of dozens of people dancing in our car park during a lively outdoor concert. There’s no such thing as being over the hill when you have so much life left to live and we wanted to emphasise that.”

22 Jun 2021
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News updates 

Care home COVID deaths rise for first time in four weeks

The number of COVID-19 related deaths in care homes in England and Wales rose for the first time in four weeks in the week ending 11 June.

In its latest weekly update, the ONS reported 12 COVID-19 related deaths in care homes in England and Wales, up from 9 in the previous week.Read more

Over 70 Million Total Doses Of Covid-19 Vaccine Administered In UK

Over 70 million COVID-19 vaccines have now been administered to adults in the UK, the latest figures published today (Friday 11 June) show, as the vaccination programme continues at unprecedented pace and scale.

With 70,253,625 million doses administered in total, 41,088,485 million people across the UK have now been vaccinated with a first dose (78%), while 29,165,140 million people have had both doses (55.4%).

The government met its target of offering a vaccine to the most vulnerable by 15 April and remains on track to offer a first dose to all adults by the end of July. NHS England has extended the offer of a vaccine to everyone aged 25 and over this week.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: Read more.

Instead of putting a 'shield around' care homes, government sent in 'people with Covid', says Cummings

Former chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, has blamed Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock for the crisis that enveloped care homes during the pandemic, saying "Hancock told us that people were going to be tested before they went back to care homes, what the hell happened?"

Mr Cummings who is giving evidence to a joint session of the Commons Heath, and Science and Technology committees, has come out with a series of explosive claims about the way the government reacted during the pandemic. Read more

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