Monday, November 29

Hundreds care home face closure across England


Around 500 homes could be forced into shutting their doors as workers may be forced to quit or lose their jobs due to not being fully vaccinated. With the implantation of the need for full vaccination, the Government warns that 40,000 staff could be lost.

But NHS data suggests that this number may be far more, as their calculations estimate that 60,000 workers would not have the second vaccine by the end of October. Mike Padgham, chairman of the Independent Care Group, who has worked in the sector for 30 years, said: The deadline for care staff to be double-vaccinated could see up to 500 homes across England having to close their doors because they don’t have enough staff to operate safely.

If that happens, it begs the question of where thousands of residents would go, as they can’t go to hospitals and they can’t go to their own homes without care. Care home union Unison found in a survey 746 staff surveyed that 97 percent believed there was a shortage of workers in the homes even before the vaccine requirement came into play.

One of the 746 staff surveyed said: The dying aren’t dying with dignity as there’s not enough staff to sit with them in their final hours. Another said: Staff morale is very low. Everyone is tired and fed up. Care is awful no time for nail care, proper washing, or having a chat with the residents.

Mr Padgham, whose Independent Care Group represents providers in York and North Yorkshire, said: The Government has delayed the deadline for mandatory vaccination in the NHS because the winter is going to be tough, but it will be tough for us too.

He continued: The services are interconnected, and if there aren’t care homes open, people can’t be discharged from hospital, so the system clogs up and everything gets worse. This danger comes after Harriet Harman sent a seething letter Peter Wyman, the head of the care regulator, calling for a change to policy of care home visits.

In the letter, Ms Harman said: It is clear many care homes are implementing highly restrictive visiting rules, potentially contrary to the Government’s guidance. As the guidelines do not have statutory force, we reiterate the importance of establishing better processes for data collection and for monitoring the right of residents and patients.

She added: We are concerned the difficulties we have highlighted persist and these recommendations have not been acted upon, which might lead to further infringements of residents’ human rights during the winter.

In September, protestors marched upon Downing Street to call upon a new law that would allow for Essential Care Givers to be given the right to visit care homes regardless of restrictions across the country. Kate Terroni, chief inspector of adult social care at the CQC, said: We expect providers to follow guidance on visiting where people are entitled to have designated visitors, and where we are made aware that this is not happening we follow up with the provider and inspect if we consider there is risk.

Where we have evidence that this is not happening we will continue to take action and are grateful to all those who share their concerns. Helen Wildbore, director of the Relatives & Residents Association, said: People living in care were abandoned at the outset of the pandemic and continue to be left behind today, still living under stringent government restrictions.