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UK: Older people in care homes abandoned to die amid Government failures during coronavirus pandemic - new report

Key failings included decisions to discharge thousands of untested hospital patients into care homes and imposition of blanket DNARs <br> <br>Care home managers and staff say they were left without guidance, PPE or access to testing. Read more


BREAKING NEWS: Care home COVID-19 deaths drop to eight-month low

The number of people COVID-19 related deaths in care homes has dropped to an eight-month low, according to the latest ONS data.

In its latest weekly update, the ONS reported 46 COVID-19 related care home deaths in the week ending 23 April down by 10 on the week earlier, the lowest level seen since early October.

Deaths involving COVID-19 accounted for 2.6% of deaths, down from 2.8% in the week earlier.

06 May 2021

Blackpool care home inspected by CQC after concerns raised about nursing care

A Blackpool care home has dropped from a "good" rating to "requires improvement" following an inspection from the industry watchdog.

The New Victoria Nursing Home, in Hornby Road, was dropped from a "good" rating to "requires improvement" following its latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection in March.

The watchdog inspection came after it "received concerns in relation to the management of people’s nursing care needs," and the home's safety and leadership was observed.

Some aspects of safety and good governance were highlighted as a concern during the inspection, but no concerns were raised in relation to nursing care.

06 May 2021

Changes announced to hospital and care home visits

Changes to hospital and care home visits will take effect from Friday 7 May, the Health Minister Robin Swann has announced.

The new rules will allow every patient in hospital in Northern Ireland to have one daily visit from at least one person.

The number of allowed visits to care homes will also increase to two per week.

Speaking about the changes, the Health Minister said: “I fully recognise the importance of visiting for those who are receiving care. I hope this guidance will be widely welcomed. “It is also important to remember that the threat from COVID-19 remains very real. Everyone has a vital role to play when it comes to safe visiting. That includes social distancing, hand hygiene and not visiting if you are feeling unwell yourself," Mr Swann added.



05 May 2021

Covid: MPs want law to protect care home visiting rights

The rights of care home residents to have visits from loved ones must be "underpinned" by law, according to a new report by cross-party MPs.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights said it was "unacceptable" that some care home providers had argued it was not safe to follow government guidance.

Since April, care home residents in England have been allowed two regular visitors indoors as lockdown has eased.

But the report said providers have not felt bound by the guidance.

The regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), said it had found that 95% of providers were enabling visiting to happen.


05 May 2021

Government scraps 14-day self-isolation for care home residents on 'low-risk' trips

The government has bowed to pressure from families of care home residents and is now allowing them to go on outdoor ‘low-risk’ trips without having to quarantine for 14 days on their return.

Under the new guidance which comes into force on Tuesday 4 May, care home residents will be able to visit a friend or relative’s garden or go on walks in places such as parks, public gardens and beaches. Up till now they have been having to self-isolate on their return to the care home but this is no longer the case.

Residents must be accompanied by either a care worker or a nominated visitor and follow the government guidelines of washing hands regularly, keeping social distance and remaining outside.

04 May 2021

LEGAL VIEW: CQC’s use of criminal prosecutions of health and social care providers

Ridouts Solicitor, Nythan Smith, offers advice on challenging criminal prosecutions brought by the CQC.

CQC has the ability to prosecute providers criminally for breaches of certain regulations with the one most commonly used being the failure to provide safe care and treatment (Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities Regulations 2014: Regulation 12); but in addition harm or risk of harm must be proved.

Prosecutions that progress through to a formal trial remain relatively rare, and there have only been 14 since the start of 2020. Of those prosecutions 12 defendants pleaded guilty to the offence.  There may have been many reasons that a decision was taken to plead as they did but the reduction in sentence by a third for making such a plea is likely to have played a factor.

04 May 2021
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News updates 

BREAKING NEWS: COVID deaths fall for 11th week in care homes

The number of COVID-19 related deaths in care homes in England and Wales has fallen for the 11th consecutive week.

In its latest weekly release, the ONS reported 56 COVID-19 related deaths in England and Wales in the week ending 16 April, down by 8 on the previous week.

On a year to date basis, there were 32,021 deaths in care homes in England and Wales up to 16 April .Read more

CHP SURVEY: Should COVID vaccination be mandatory for care home workers?

News that the government is considering making COVID vaccinations mandatory for health and social care workers has sparked fierce debate within the care home sector.

The news, which broke last month, came as around one in five care home workers are yet to receive their first COVID jab. Read more

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