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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


Social care leaders ramp-up pressure on PM to deliver reform

Leaders of organisations representing adult social care have today urged the PM, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to reform England’s social care system.

The letter, whose signatories include Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO of Care England, and Kathryn Smith, CEO of the Social Care Institute for Excellence, calls on the government to publish its proposals before the Summer Recess.

It states: “In common with all people who draw on care and support, and colleagues working across social care, we are clear that the time to deliver reform is now.”

22 Jun 2021

Care home challenges older people stereotypes by ditching 'stooping pensioners' road signs

A Surrey care home has invested in stereotype-busting new traffic signs along its driveway, depicting dancing couples full of energy and vigour, in a bid to change perceptions of older people as being “frail, slow-moving and often simply weary of life.”

The Huntington & Langham Estate in Hindhead has replaced its previous signage of 'stooping pensioners' to emphasise there is no such thing as “over the hill” and there should not be an age barrier to a joyful life.

With the estate accessed by a long driveway, the team wanted to create an early impression that would be seen on the visitor's first arrival, which saw the signs commissioned to replace more traditional ‘elderly people’ signs.

Charlie Hoare, director of the Huntington & Langham Estate said: “Older people are all too easily pigeonholed as being frail, slow-moving and often simply weary of life. The truth is though that’s far from the case.

"In fact, if you had driven down our drive last week, you would have had to be mindful of dozens of people dancing in our car park during a lively outdoor concert. There’s no such thing as being over the hill when you have so much life left to live and we wanted to emphasise that.”

22 Jun 2021

Charity leaders call on PM to keep promise to fix social care

Charity leaders have today called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to finally honour his pledge to fix social care.

The letter to the PM from the Care & Support Alliance, which represents more than 70 leading charities, urges Mr Johnson to take “decisive action” following the government’s pledge to bring forward proposals on social care in the Queen’s Speech.

As well as introducing funding reform with a cap on “catastrophic” care costs, the letter urges the PM to invest significantly more money into social care budgets so that everyone who needs care benefits and “ensure care staff get a fair rate of pay and the professional respect they deserve for the important work they do”.

21 Jun 2021

Nearly 50,000 sign petition against mandatory Covid vaccine for care home staff

Nearly 50,000 people have signed a petition against the plan by the government to make the Covid-19 vaccine mandatory for care home workers, which says health and social care workers should be ‘given the right to exercise free will in relation to any medical procedure’.

The petition, on the UK Government and Parliament website, by David Richards, states care workers ‘should be able to refuse to take the Covid-19 vaccination without fear of facing discrimination at work or in wider society’.

The announcement by the government to make the Covid vaccine compulsory for all staff in all care homes in England has been criticised by VODG (Voluntary Organisations Disability Group) as “potentially divisive”.

The new law covers care homes for people with learning disabilities as well as people aged 65 and over.

Dr Rhidian Hughes, chief executive of VODG, said: “Given the potential divisiveness of this proposal, we would urge the government to tread carefully and work with people who use services, the workforce, providers, and commissioners to fully understand how best to implement.”

21 Jun 2021

COVID-19: Vaccinations to be made 'compulsory' for care home staff and looked at for NHS workers - Whitehall sources

There have been more than 40,000 deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes in England.

The government is to make coronavirus vaccinations compulsory for care home staff who work with elderly and vulnerable people, Whitehall sources say.

Ministers are also considering extending the policy to all NHS staff, a proposal which has previously been criticised by some groups representing nurses and doctors.

The government will open a consultation on Wednesday requiring vaccination as a condition of employment for all health service workers in an attempt to reduce transmission in hospitals, sources add.

17 Jun 2021

Northfield Village care home residents embrace new technology

The giant touch screens are built into a table, giving residents the chance to test out enjoyable games, puzzles, drawing pictures, and memory-based activities.

Giant tablet computers are bringing joy to care home residents in Staffordshire.  

Residents at Limewood, a dementia care home in Northfield Village, Staffordshire run by The Wrekin Housing Group, have fully embraced the new technology.

The giant touch screens are built into a table, giving residents the chance to test out enjoyable games, puzzles, drawing pictures, and memory-based activities.  

The devices have also allowed residents to speak to their loved ones on a regular basis using video calling software during the pandemic.

The idea to purchase the tables came from Wrekin’s events co-ordinator, Katrina Pooler, who felt that they would be a great addition to Limewood.

17 Jun 2021
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News updates 

Over 70 Million Total Doses Of Covid-19 Vaccine Administered In UK

Over 70 million COVID-19 vaccines have now been administered to adults in the UK, the latest figures published today (Friday 11 June) show, as the vaccination programme continues at unprecedented pace and scale.

With 70,253,625 million doses administered in total, 41,088,485 million people across the UK have now been vaccinated with a first dose (78%), while 29,165,140 million people have had both doses (55.4%).

The government met its target of offering a vaccine to the most vulnerable by 15 April and remains on track to offer a first dose to all adults by the end of July. NHS England has extended the offer of a vaccine to everyone aged 25 and over this week.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: Read more.

Instead of putting a 'shield around' care homes, government sent in 'people with Covid', says Cummings

Former chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, has blamed Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock for the crisis that enveloped care homes during the pandemic, saying "Hancock told us that people were going to be tested before they went back to care homes, what the hell happened?"

Mr Cummings who is giving evidence to a joint session of the Commons Heath, and Science and Technology committees, has come out with a series of explosive claims about the way the government reacted during the pandemic. Read more

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