Covid care homes set up in London to prevent the spread of the virus among the elderly

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Around 16,000 people died from the coronavirus in English and Welsh nursing homes between the end of March and October. Excess deaths in retirement communities are estimated to reach 25,500 people and nearly 90% of those deaths occurred between April and May, at the height of the pandemic.

The spread is believed to have been accelerated by the lack of PPE, the visitors and caregivers who bring it, and residents who are not tested until they are released from hospital. Any inpatient nursing home resident but healthy enough to leave will now receive a Covid test.

If it is positive, they can be sent to one of the new specialized homes to recover from the virus. If they are well enough and are no longer contagious, then they will return to their original home.

Kelly O’Neill, director of public health at Hounslow council, said: “This time, before being sent back to a nursing home, every person is tested for Covid-19.

If the patients tested positive, the NHS of North West London and Hounslow have set up a Covid exit destination. It is important that we all continue to follow the rules to protect each other and the most vulnerable. “

Barking and Dagenham said they have worked with Havering and Redbridge on facilities that can accommodate between 20 and 35 nursing home residents.

“Additional protection has been put in place around these care homes,” said Thomas Stansfeld, senior commissioner for the elderly, in his report to the council.

“The goal of this program is to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid to the broader nursing home market.”

The Boroughs of South West London said they were working on setting up housing and looked at community hospitals and empty care homes for the sites. Options were presented to boards on October 16.

“All designated premises must be inspected by CQC and agreed contracts prior to opening, so we will not be able to publicize locations until these steps are completed,” a spokesperson said. of the Kingston Council.

The boroughs have also tested themselves to protect the elderly.

Barking and Dagenham became the first city hall in the capital to launch its own Covid-19 express testing center last week, fearing the government program would face an increase in cases during the winter.

Key workers in the borough, including caregivers, are given priority for free same-day tests and results.

Council chief Darren Rodwell said delays in people accessing tests and results were causing “significant” problems for nursing homes and schools because staff had to self-isolate.

“We have a big problem with the people who will continue to work with the coronavirus,” he said. “We have to make sure people do what they are asked to do. Our teachers look after our youngest children and they are much safer in school than they are outside. Our caregivers take care of our elderly and those in need. “

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