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Letter: We Need to Stop the Virus Getting Into All Care Homes

Published on: 19 May, 2020
Updated on: 19 May, 2020

From George Potter

Lib Dem borough councillor for Burpham

In response to: ‘Extraordinarily Selfless’ Care Home Staff Camp Out to Protect Residents

This really is admirable but it’s worth noting that there are many reasons why other care homes might not be able to do that.

For one thing, many don’t have grounds large enough, or enough empty rooms, to enable carers to sleep at the workplace. For another, carers are a low-paid profession and many have to take other part-time jobs to make ends meet or are themselves needed at home to care for young children.

Yet clearly ensuring care home staff are kept inside the same “bubble” as the residents to prevent infection from outside is one of the best ways to keep residents and staff safe.

It really is a national tragedy that we haven’t followed the routes other countries have taken, such as isolating patients discharged from hospitals before they are fully installed in care homes, or providing national funding to enable carers to shelter at or near their places of work, or paying carers enough during a crisis that they don’t need to worry about working a second job to pay their bills.

If an outbreak of Covid-19 starts in a care home even the best-trained staff in the world would struggle to stop the spread. We desperately need to stop the virus getting into care homes and even at this stage it still isn’t too late to make a renewed effort.

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