A leading care home provider, which currently has over 70% of its services closed to admissions, has called on the government to ease COVID-19 restrictions.
Stacey Linn, managing director of Ideal Carehomes, said there was a “hidden crisis” in the care industry due to admission restrictions on care homes as a result of government guidelines.
Care homes are currently required to introduce outbreak management rules for 14 days, down from 28 days previously, where there have been two or more positive cases of COVID-19 over a seven-day period.
Stacey said Ideal Carehomes currently had 70% of its services closed to admissions despite most having a small number of positive cases, the large majority of which are asymptomatic and have only been picked up because of routine testing.
The MD said Ideal Carehomes was unable to answer an “unprecedented level” of care enquiries due to the current rules.
“We are confident we can welcome new residents to our homes safely but we are unable to do so as a result of the restrictions in place,” Stacey said. “We are not being allowed to care.”
The Ideal Carehomes leader said PCR results were taking longer than isolation periods, adding homes needed to conduct full home testing in order to reopen to admissions.
“If this returns even one more positive result, even if this is a member of staff who hasn’t been on shift for days, we are being closed for another 14 days,” Stacey told CHP.
“We know that this sort of testing can pick up people who are maybe ‘shedding’ the virus, and so this policy could end up closing many care homes to new admissions for the foreseeable future.”
Stacey said changes needed to be made quickly through a “collaborative approach” to help care providers help the people who need support.
“The current guidelines are counterproductive and the inconsistency around how homes have to operate following positive cases is extremely worrying and very unhelpful,” she added.