English councils are being asked by the government to identify care homes that could be used to take COVID-positive patients from hospital.
The Guardian reported that the Department of Health and Social Care had asked councils to identify up to 500 care homes with appropriate infection prevention controls by the end of November.
The move is thought to be designed to combat cross infection caused by people leaving hospital who have tested for COVID-19 or who are awaiting a test result.
Care leaders voiced their concerns over the plans, however, with Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO of Care England, commenting: “We need information on the process by which people will eventually leave the COVID-positive facilities and what assurances their destination homes will get about their COVID status.”
Sam Monaghan, CEO of MHA said he was “highly concerned” about bringing infected people “into close communities where the risk of spread is considerable and you are asking staff to place themselves in the way of potentially contracting the virus as well”.
A DHSC spokesperson said: “Our priority is the prevention of infection in care homes and ensuring that everyone receives the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
“Building on the commitments of the Adult Social Care Winter Plan, we are working with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the NHS to ensure that everyone discharged to a care home has an up-to-date COVID test result, with anyone who is COVID positive being discharged to a care home that CQC has assured is able to provide care and support for people who are COVID positive.”