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  • Government scientific committee says hospital discharges spread virus

    Government scientific committee says hospital discharges spread virus

    16.07.20 A government committee has admitted that discharging hospital patients into care homes at the start of the pandemic was a significant contributor to the spread of the virus there. According to the Vivaldi study, 56% of care homes reported at least one case of Covid-19. The Telegraph newspaper said a paper submitted on May 12, by the Care Homes Sub Group to the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), warned that new coronavirus cases were linked to the passage of patients from hospitals to care homes. After nearly 20,000 deaths from coronavirus in care homes, the Telegraph said that clinical negligence lawyers were claiming that “critical shortcomings” had led to many unnecessary deaths.

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  • Massive increase in people providing help to those outside household

    Massive increase in people providing help to those outside household

    15.07.20 Numbers of adults providing regular help or support to someone outside their household have increased more than four-fold during the pandemic, new figures suggest. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that 48% of UK adults reported providing help to someone outside their home during April, compared with 11% who reported doing so for an older, disabled or ill person before the pandemic. Nearly a third (32%) gave help to someone they had not helped before the pandemic, while those aged 45-54 were most likely to provide this kind of support with 60% doing so. Carers UK chief executive Helen Walker said “Providing a small amount of unpaid care from afar will have been manageable for some. But hundreds of thousands of people with far more intense caring roles are unable to rely on care services to help them, bringing nothing but stress and exhaustion.”

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  • CQC investigation finds patients with dementia report poorer care

    CQC investigation finds patients with dementia report poorer care

    14.07.20 Hospital patients with dementia have poorer experiences of care, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found, with people who have had a hospital stay reporting a lower quality of care and level of respect. An inpatient survey by the CQC with 77,000 adults found that those with dementia had poorer experiences on five out of nine dimensions investigated: information, communication and education, respect (for patient-centred values, preferences and expressed needs), hydration, and respect, dignity and overall experience. Fiona Carragher, director of research and influencing at Alzheimer’s Society, said the CQC’s findings confirmed the charity’s fears. “Our analysis published at the start of this year also showed an increase of over a third in emergency hospital admissions among those with dementia, with a lack of quality social care often prolonging their stay unnecessarily in a disorientating and scary environment,” she said.

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  • Practical guidance from NIHR helps day centres reopen safely

    Practical guidance from NIHR helps day centres reopen safely

    13.07.20 As day centres reopen to service users and staff, new guidance has been issued by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to support managers and volunteer coordinators through the process. A free download titled “Helping adult day centres to ‘unlock lockdown’”, the new guidance draws on existing Covid-19 guidance so as to help with the task of making day centres safe, including social clubs and community centres. Part one of the guidance covers practicalities of reopening, including infection control and supporting service users, carers, staff and volunteers, while part two is an editable Word document that aims to prompt reflection on what has happened during lockdown and how to move forwards.

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  • Lack of family visits causing 'hidden catastrophe' in care homes

    Lack of family visits causing 'hidden catastrophe' in care homes

    10.07.20 Dementia UK and Alzheimer’s Society are among charities sending a joint letter to health secretary Matt Hancock warning that care home residents’ health is being severely affected by the absence of family visits. They urge the government to grant some family members key worker status, enabling them to access care homes and have regular coronavirus tests. The letter says that care given by family members is “essential” to residents’ mental and physical health, but that the restrictions resulting from the pandemic have had “damaging consequences”. It calls on the government to urgently address what it describes as a “hidden catastrophe” in care homes and says Hancock should publish detailed guidance on care home visits. A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman told the BBC that guidelines on safe family visiting would be issued shortly.

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  • E-Newsletter - 10 July 2020

    E-Newsletter - 10 July 2020

    Here is this week’s round-up of dementia care news, stories and comment. This week's topics include practical guidance from NIHR to help day centres reopen safely. It is an editor's selection which we hope you will enjoy.

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  • Care Forum Wales launches 'Cheapskate awards'

    Care Forum Wales launches 'Cheapskate awards'

    10.07.20 Care Forum Wales, which represents care homes, has drawn up a “league table of shame” listing the “terrible ten” local authorities paying the lowest care home fees. Forum chaιr Mario Kreft, who has expressed concern that many Welsh care homes will not survive the coronavirus crisis, said there was a gulf between the best and worst paying local authorities, according to the website and he is writing to Assembly members to complain about the postcode lottery. Care Forum Wales has launched the “Cheapskate Awards” as a way of publicising the discrepancies, highlighting organisations offering the lowest fees.

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  • Online learning centre for family carers

    Online learning centre for family carers

    09.07.20 Dementia Carers Count (DCC), which supports family carers of people with dementia, has moved over to online learning programmes while Covid-19 restrictions continue. It has set up a Virtual Carers Centre herewith resources including videos from professionals and family carers, bitesize courses, blogs with tips and advice, and one-to-one calls with DCC’s team of experts. The charity’s face-to-face courses for carers have had to be suspended, but it said that people with dementia and carers had become isolated so their need for support was greater than ever.

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  • Alzheimer's Society calls for urgent action for research funding

    Alzheimer's Society calls for urgent action for research funding

    08.07.20 Alzheimer’s Society has called for emergency financial support for research funding following estimates that it will take 4.5 years for spending on medical research as a whole to return to pre-coronavirus levels. The Society, which fears that the pandemic could create a £45 million hole in its own finances, said coronavirus had dealt a “devastating blow” to its research investment plans. Urging the government to compensate by ploughing more money into dementia research, research communications manager Hannah Churchill said: “Over 90% of our funded researchers told us they were concerned about the future of dementia research, with good reason - we are not alone in having to pause our research funding programme and reduce research investment.”

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  • Scottish care homes re-open to visitors for outdoor visits

    Scottish care homes re-open to visitors for outdoor visits

    07.07.20 Scottish care homes that have been free of coronavirus for 28 days have reopened to visitors. In Scotland, more people have died of Covid-19 in care homes than in hospital, with 1,917 deaths and 1,909 deaths respectively up to 25 June. But health secretary Jeane Freeman said “significant progress” had been made, so that modified visiting arrangements could be put in place from 3 July. For an initial period each resident is allowed one “key visitor”, but the visit has to take place outdoors, maintaining physical distancing and wearing masks. Alzheimer Scotland welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement, saying it was a much-needed step forward for those who had been unable to visit loved ones. The charity said it had heard “harrowing” accounts on its Dementia Helpline of the impact of the visiting ban, with many residents with dementia experiencing a “significant decline in their health and wellbeing”.

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