Families whose loved ones die with coronavirus should be allowed to say goodbye to loved ones “as much as possible,” said the health secretary.
Matt Hancock announced new procedures so that “whenever possible” people have the “chance to say goodbye” to loved ones who die with COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.
He said that “wanting to be with someone you love at the end of his life is one of the deepest human instincts,” adding that he cried when he learned that a 13-year-old body, Ismail, would die without a parent at his bedside.
“I am happy to say that by working with Public Health England, the healthcare industry and many others, we are introducing new procedures so that we can limit the risk of infection while providing family members with the best possible closer the opportunity to say goodbye, “said Dit Hancock.
The health secretary also said the ministers said “crystal clear” that it was unacceptable for advanced care plans – including not resuscitating prescriptions – to be applied generally to any group of people.
“It must always be a personalized process, as it has always been,” he said.
Meanwhile, fears are growing that hundreds of people will die with coronavirus in nursing homes, but are not included in daily government updates.
Britain’s largest operator of nursing homes, C-One, said two-thirds of its homes were affected and more than 300 people died there.
Meanwhile, Care England said there have been thousands of cases and deaths in the homes it represents.
Tests have now been promised to all who need them in care homes – including staff and residents – with the Quality of Care Commission responsible for coordinating who will receive them and when.
Currently, the daily update on government deaths includes only patients who died after being tested positive for the virus in hospital.
In its latest update on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health said 761 other patients with COVID-19 died in British hospitals, bringing the total to 12,868.
Amid criticism that the government is lagging behind a “growing crisis” in nursing homes, Mr. Hancock presented a package of measures to combat the spread of the virus in welfare structures.
This includes increased testing and better access to protective equipment through an “unprecedented scale” supply network.
Hancock also announced a new “single brand” with a badge for social workers, which he said could help them access similar benefits for NHS staff.
“This badge will be a badge of honor in a very real sense, allowing social service staff to identify themselves proudly and publicly, just like NHS staff do with this famous blue and white logo,” said the secretary. to health.
“I know that many companies will want to offer the same recognition and benefits as they do wonderfully at the NHS. “
Hancock said supermarkets have been asked to give social workers the same priority access to their stores as NHS staff.
One of the criticisms leveled at the government in recent weeks has been testing – but the health secretary said the UK has been “testing NHS staff in all areas regularly” since last weekend.
He added: “We have also started testing social service staff, 4,100 people have already been referred for testing. “
Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer of Health for England, said at the same briefing that the death toll from COVID-19 may increase later this week, but thinks the UK “probably” is at its peak of the epidemic.
And Dame Angela McLean, the deputy chief scientific advisor, said there was continuing evidence that social distancing measures introduced to stop the spread of the virus were having an impact.
She said the number of people who tested positive for the coronavirus had not increased in the past two weeks.
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