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  • Cash grants to help charities meet high demand for their services

    Cash grants to help charities meet high demand for their services

    28.05.20 At least one dementia charity will be among the beneficiaries of £22 million in cash grants to help charities meet increased demand for their services. Part of a £750 million funding package for charities previously announced by the government, the grants will go to a broad range of health charities providing “vital support and advice”. Alzheimer’s Society was named by the government as one of the recipients. “This epidemic has had huge consequences for us all, but for some it has been especially difficult, leading to loneliness, anxiety and other mental health challenges,” said health minister Nadine Dorries. Alzheimer’s Society has said that its losses as a result of the pandemic could be as high as £30 million.

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  • Leading charity calls for action on high dementia death rates from virus

    Leading charity calls for action on high dementia death rates from virus

    27.05.20 Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) has called for urgent action after it emerged that nearly one in five of people dying from the virus also had dementia. The charity said that, of the 22,332 patients who died after 31 March when pre-existing conditions began to be reported, 4,048 of them had dementia. “While it’s still unclear what’s behind the link between covid-19 and dementia, we do know that people with dementia are more vulnerable to certain infections,” said ARUK policy and public affairs director Samantha Benham-Hermetz. “Age is the biggest risk factor for dementia, and with older people also more likely to experience severe symptoms from covid-19, this may partly explain the high number of deaths. It is also possible that people with dementia may be more likely to have been exposed to the virus due to high rates of infection in care homes."

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  • Care homes had 'little alternative' but to take in Covid-19 patients

    Care homes had 'little alternative' but to take in Covid-19 patients

    26.05.20 Mike Padgham, who runs a Yorkshire care home group, gives a candid interview to the Financial Times in which he describes how there was “little alternative” but to take in hospital patients whether or not they had covid-19. “We don’t get paid for empty beds,” Padgham is quoted as saying in the FT. “We had to admit people with covid-19 to stay afloat – but whether it’s right is a moral question.” Padgham, who is managing director of the Saint Cecilia care home group and chair of the Independent Care Group, says that the lack of new residents coming in from the community – and with the cost of personal protective equipment and wages surpassing income – meant that he had to follow government advice issued in April to take in hospital patients even if they had not been tested for the virus.

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  • GMB union describes full sick pay for HC-One staff as 'massive win'

    GMB union describes full sick pay for HC-One staff as 'massive win'

    26.05.20 Care home group HC-One has undertaken to provide full sick pay to its 27,000 staff, the GMB union has said. The GMB described it as a “massive win” and urged other care home providers to follow suit. Kelly Andrews, the union’s care lead, said it had been fighting hard for full sick pay across the sector. She said: “It’s completely unrealistic for anyone to live on £95 a week – and it’s utterly unfair to force carers to make the impossible choice between feeding their families or risking the health of their colleagues and residents by coming into work sick. We still back pay for everyone who had to self-isolate before testing came in."

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  • “Testing chaos” still reigns and more tests urgently needed, says NCF

    “Testing chaos” still reigns and more tests urgently needed, says NCF

    25.05.20 New measures from the government to allow everyone aged over 5 with symptoms to be tested for Covid-19 will make the “testing chaos worse” in care homes, the National Care Forum (NCF) has said. The NCF, which represents care homes, insisted that there were still not enough tests available in social care and that there was no reliable timescale for getting test results. It called for 200,000 “routine and regular” tests per day across the care sector. “There are currently 30,000 tests available to care homes, which equates to 300 care homes per day receiving tests,” said NCF executive director Vic Rayner. “This is in no way near the amount of tests required for the care sector. Some of our members are being told they won’t be tested until 6 June which is much too late. We are asking for more tests to be made available for care providers to make sure that the government holds to its promise to keep the most vulnerable and those who care for them safe during this pandemic."

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  • More than one-third of care homes report Covid-19 outbreak

    More than one-third of care homes report Covid-19 outbreak

    22.05.20 More than a third of care homes in England have reported Covid-19 outbreaks, according to figures released by the government. Up to 17 May there were suspected outbreaks of Covid-19 – either symptomatic or confirmed – in 5,889 care homes, 38% of the total in England. Official figures suggest that more than 12,000 people have died from the virus in care homes. New guidance from the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) on handling the virus in care homes can be found here

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  • E-Newsletter - 22 May 2020
  • Film animation highlights bright ideas for meeting needs in pandemic

    Film animation highlights bright ideas for meeting needs in pandemic

    22.05.20 Newcastle Dementia Service has produced an eight-minute animated film for care home staff on meeting the needs of people with dementia living in care homes during covid-19. The animation presents the 8 fundamental needs framework, namely the needs for physical comfort and freedom from pain, feeling safe, love and belonging, self-esteem, feeling in control over oneself and the environment, meaningful physical touch, having fun, and meaningful occupation. It looks at the difficulties of meeting these needs during the pandemic and examines how some care homes have creatively tackled the issue. Link here

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  • 'Comfortable times' in care homes despite contrary messages

    'Comfortable times' in care homes despite contrary messages

    20.05.20 Although many care homes have been hit badly by the pandemic, either through ingenuity or luck others have managed to avoid the worst of it. One Cambridgeshire care group called for a change in perceptions of the social care sector, saying that the crisis narrative failed to do justice to the variety of care encompassed by the industry. Aliyyah Begum-Nasser, operations director of Askham Village Community, said the sector was full of people doing their very best in the face of an enormous challenge. “Whilst there are people living and working in care homes who have suffered from covid-19, there are many, many more out there continuing to enjoy peaceful, comfortable times – thanks in no small part to the staff working in social care. Much of the generic messaging, however, presents care homes as places of risk, depicting them as under-resourced, with residents consequently under-protected.”

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  • Government promises 70 million additional masks

    Government promises 70 million additional masks

    19.05.20 Under a new deal with technology company Honeywell, the government has promised 70 million face masks for frontline health and care workers over the next 18 months. Production of the FFP2 and FFP3 masks at the company’s Scottish facility is not expected to start until July, but 4.5 million masks could roll off the production line each month. Lord Deighton, the government’s adviser on personal protective equipment (PPE), said that the masks were certified to the highest international standards. “As countries around the world face unprecedented demand for PPE, British industry is stepping forward to make sure vital pieces of equipment reach our workers on the front line,” he said.

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