The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) is writing to local authorities to ask them to identify a group of designated care homes to take in elderly COVID-19 patients from hospitals, Sky News understands.
The move is aimed at preventing a repeat of criticism during the first wave of the pandemic which saw elderly residents sent to care homes from hospitals without being tested for coronavirus – a policy which some care homes believe exacerbated or even caused the spread of COVID-19.
The homes would be selected because they are able to nurse and isolate residents who have the disease from hospitals and those discharged who are still waiting for test results.
The DHSC was criticised for guidelines during the height of the outbreak which sent people back to care homes untested. Some facilities said they were simply not able to provide the level of care needed and felt forced to take in the residents.https://ea8ccd45b667fc70dd0ff4ed93354dd2.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.htmlAdvertisement
Giving evidence to a Commons select committee, Helen Whately, minister for social care, admitted some care homes – under original pandemic guidelines – had felt “under pressure” to accept people who were discharged from hospital without being tested for COVID-19 and said “that should not be the case”.