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Care homes offered £1,500 per week to take COVID positive patients

coronavirus

Care homes in Cumbria are being offered double their weekly fees to take in COVID positive patients from hospitals, a report has revealed.

Radio 5 said this morning that care homes in the county had been sent a letter in August by their local authority and CCG requesting expressions of interest in taking COVID positive hospital patients. The report said care homes, which had been COVID free for 28 days, were being offered weekly fees of £1,500 to cover the additional expenses of providing care for the patients.

Care home operator Tony Carling said: “It really felt like quite a slap in the face after all the hard work we have done to keep our homes COVID-free up to this point.

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“We rely very heavily on local authorities for our client base. The majority of our clients are placed and funded by the local authorities so it’s very difficult to turn down … you are under extreme financial pressure as to whether you will get any further business from that local authority if you don’t support their needs.”

Tony said it was “naïve” of local authorities and CCGs to expect care homes to be able to devote teams to looking after people in isolation when they were having to use agency and bank staff during the COVID crisis.

The care home operator added his staff had been “frightened and anxious” and had sought private reassurance that COVID positive patients would not be taken in by his home.

“I have empty beds in my care home but I am very lucky that I have owners who would rather keep those beds empty than take additional finance and take COVID positive residents into our home,” he told Radio 5.

Nadra Ahmed OBE, Executive Chairman of the National Care Association, told CHP: “Caring for someone with a COVID-19 diagnosis involves a multifaceted response from the service which may include addition staff with agreed remunerations for the extra time and risk, additional clinical support, PPE, disinfecting procedures etc. This means that the average of £550/600pw paid by LAs is not sufficient and some LAs may have recognised this and are offering enhanced rates from the funding made available to them. Providers will need to balance the risk to their residents and staff and the impact on their businesses before agreeing to accept a discharge from hospital with a positive diagnosis and ensure that they can manage the care for the potential resident whilst keep their staff and current residents safe. This is not a case of enhanced funding but one of the balance of risk.”

A Cumbria County Council spokesperson said: “Some care providers will be able to accommodate patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 through effective isolation strategies or cohorting, policies which are consistent with national hospital discharge guidance. The increased financial support is in recognition of the additional costs that will be incurred by the provider for example increased infection control and isolation and staffing measures that would need to be followed. Participation is entirely voluntary.”

The Department of Health and Social Care added: “Our approach has been guided at all times by the latest scientific advice. We have been clear that no care home should be forced to admit an existing or new resident to the care home if they do not feel they can provide the appropriate care.

“In our new winter plan for social care, we have extended the Infection Control Fund – with a total of £1.1 billion ringfenced to help care providers reduce COVID-19 transmission – we are providing free PPE to care homes across England and we are ensuring care providers limit staff movements between care homes to prevent the spread of infection.”

Tags : CCGCoronavirusFundingLocal Authority
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The author Lee Peart

5 Comments

  1. Disgusting! Put them in a Nightingale Hospital, bless them. They may be old but they need to be nursed professionally, as any one else would. If that happens it simply a culling exercise. Disgraceful! Whomever came up with that idea should be sacked.
    Caring society – I think not.

  2. ALL I CAN SAY AS A REGISTERED MANAGER OF A CARE HOME IT IS PATHETIC, WHY ARE WE HAVING TESTS TO BE HOPEFULLY NEGATIVE. AS WE ARE.
    I would hand my notice in if this happened to us. I am a Manager who cares about residents health and in particular my staff also.. We shouldnt be put under pressure to take covid into a covid free home.

    A very annoyed and disgusted Manager, To wave a large amount of money in front of providers is demeaning in the sence of the word CARE HOME.

    Stay safe is the motto of the NHS. UNBELIEVABLE

    Jillian from Maghull Merseyside Care Home

  3. It is ageism by the NHS. Care Homes do not have the isolation facilities, the inbuilt oxygen in every room, or the Ventilators to treat Covid Patients. There is also the risk to staff and existing safe residents. It would open homes to litigation as introducing the virus into Covid clean homes is obviously risking all residents lives. There have been many cases of pressure being put on the Managers to take such patients. Reverse Triage is what the policy was called,, following a report in April 2017, on Exercise Cygnus. Its pure eugenics.

  4. I live in a Care Home and have done for the last 4 years , I think this is disgusting , at the moment our Home is Covid free ….why the heck should 80 / 90 year old residents be subjected to this …Most people here would probably die if that occurred …..I really cannot believe that anyone would do this !!!

  5. I run a number of care homes for working age adults in Essex – I believe separate ‘hospital’ facilities are required to ensure dignity and comfort for both those seriously ill and those dying from Covid 19. People living in care have the same right to professional medical treatment as anyone else and this falls I believe outside of the remit and capabilities of care homes and even nursing homes who do not have the expertise, training or equipment required. Care and nursing homes could perhaps offer places to Recovering Covid patients who are positive but I think such homes should only care for recovering Covid patients alone and not alongside those who do not have Covid, regardless of how separate things are.

    I also wish to highlight what I consider a further inconsistently in government guidelines. Whilst care homes are required currently to keep staff from working across different care homes and groups of residents to prevent the introduction and spread of Covid, there is no requirement to prevent staff working two separate jobs, eg in a care home and in a pub or shop. We have to ensure our agency staff only work in our care home and no others but there is nothing stopping them doing an early shift in a supermarket in The morning, handling goods and money with exposure to a huge number of the public and then doing personal care with a vulnerable resident in the afternoon.

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