COVID-19 Care Homes Update
Report of Director and Deputy Director Adult Social Services
This note is intended to provide Scrutiny with a brief summary of the current situation in the city in relation to COVID-19 and an update on the work progressing in Manchester in relation to areas within the remit of this committee. Further detail on specific issues will be available as required.
The Committee considered a report of the Director and Deputy Director Adult Social Services that provided information and data on the measures introduced to support and maintain care home provision in Manchester during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Officers referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -
· Describing the landscape of Care Homes across Manchester;
· The strategy adopted in response to the pandemic to support this sector to ensure that Manchester residents were supported;
· Describing the work undertaken with partners to deliver this, building on established strong relationships to deliver a co-ordinated system wide response, both at a local level and across Greater Manchester;
· Information on the work of the Community Infection Control Team;
· Describing a range of initiatives enacted to support this sector, including the operation of the Mutual Aid Hub to oversee personal protective equipment (PPE) provision and the adaptation of Moston Grange Care Home;
· Information on testing arrangements for Care Homes;
· Detail on the financial measures to support providers;
· Data on the outbreaks, infections and deaths (involving COVID-19 in care homes; and
· Next steps and planning ahead.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -
· What was the approach taken to those Care Homes who had not applied for testing;
· Noting the benefits realised of the integration of Health and Social Care to respond quickly and effectively to the pandemic, with particular reference to the ability to test patients prior to discharge from hospital into a care setting;
· Analysis was required to understand excess deaths in the region;
· Was the Care Home sector financially resilient enough to withstand the pandemic and what support was being offered;
· What impact had improved air quality experienced during the pandemic period had on mortality figures;
· What financial support was offered to those residents in Care Homes who were self-funding; and
· What was the rationale for the block booking of beds in Care Homes.
The Director of Public Health said that the introduction and control of testing at a local level would provide greater management and oversight of this activity across a range of settings and he advised that follow up work was ongoing with those settings that had not applied for testing. The Executive Director of Adult Social Services added that a pilot scheme was being delivered across Greater Manchester that would deliver testing in supported accommodation settings.
In regard to the comments surrounding analysis and understating of the mortality rates, the Director of Public Health informed the Members that a recent report published by the Office of National Statistics had presented a number of explanations, however work would be undertaken at a local level to understand the Manchester context. He described that issues such as air quality would inform this analysis and information on the outcomes of this would be reported to the Committee at an appropriate time.
The Executive Director of Adult Social Services stated that a report on the support offered to Care Home providers could be provided for consideration by the Committee at a future meeting. In regard to self-funding residents she reported that individuals could request an assessment for financial support.
The Deputy Director of Adult Social Services stated that conversations were being undertaken with Care Homes to understand the landscape and the challenges they were experiencing, commenting that vacancy rates could significantly impact upon them. He said that this regular dialogue with the sector enabled appropriate support options to be considered. He advised that this activity was continually being monitored and reviewed. With regard to block booking beds he stated that this had been done to protect capacity so that vulnerable people were supported.
The Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing supported the comment from the Chair regarding the benefits realised by the integration of Health and Social Care to plan and respond quickly and effectively to the pandemic. She added that the Neighbourhood Teams had proven to be very important in supporting residents throughout this period and that the Valuing Older People Board were involved with the discussions regarding the wider health and wellbeing of our older residents.
To note the report.