Reading in the papers today the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated “too many” care homes did not properly follow the procedures during the COVID19 pandemic. In response care home providers have said the comments by the Prime Minister are “neither accurate nor welcome”.
The Prime Minister did say care should be funded properly and support needs to be organised. The National Care Forum (NCF) said he should turn up the dial on reform, and down on the blame”. Vic Rayner speaking on behalf of the 120 members of the NCF said guidance came in “stops and starts – with organisations grappling with over 100 pieces of additional guidance much of which was not accompanied by an understanding of the operational implications of operating care services.” Mike Padgham operating care homes in North Yorkshire said Health England in February said is was very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home would become infected and that homes didn’t need to do anything differently. It was many weeks later after most homes had already lockdown that the advice changed.”
Mark Booker (Owner, Independent Living) stated “in my opinion at the start of this care was the poor relation of the NHS. This is probably because the public has great affection for the NHS whereas care is a silent and an under valued service. In our experience Lancashire County have been helpful asking us daily how the service was coping , and providing some PPE. However, government guidance has often come in the form of long emails rather than verbal communication. I believe when COVID19 deaths in care homes rocketed the Government panicked and realised they had neglected this sector, but clearly they could not undo the damage.
In our experience the home care sector has not been hit like care homes probably because it is harder to spread infection but I do worry what support we would have received if things had been different.”