Joint effort to help fight against Covid-19 second wave

This story was published 16 November 2020

The NHS, local authorities and care providers are joining forces to help tackle rising cases of Covid-19 across North Yorkshire.

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Following a request from the Government to the NHS and local councils, specially-approved residential care and nursing homes have agreed to support discharged Coronavirus patients to ease the pressure on the County’s hospitals.

North Yorkshire County Council and the County’s three Clinical Commissioning Groups are working together to bring on-stream new discharge beds at care homes in Scarborough, Whitby, Craven and the Hambleton/Richmondshire area, in addition to an existing service in Boroughbridge. Arrangements are also in place with partners in York and Bradford for access to similar facilities in those areas for people using York and Airedale Hospitals.

Homes must be approved as suitable after inspection by the care regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

This approach follows on from work that was undertaken within North Yorkshire during the first wave of the pandemic, where the County Council, NHS and local care providers created “safer discharge” beds, provided separately in homes, to protect existing residents better.

One of the homes in Scarborough is Saint Cecilia’s Nursing Home, which also looked after discharged Covid-19 patients during the first wave of the virus.

Managing Director, Mike Padgham said: “It is vital we have somewhere safe that people can go to from hospital and we are proud to be able to offer that and to make our contribution to the county effort.

“We all have to work together to get through this second wave of coronavirus, particularly during this difficult time when cases in Scarborough are rising so rapidly.”

Beverley Proctor, Chief Executive of the Independent Chair Group said: “After an appeal from the Department of Health and Social Care, some providers have agreed to take in Covid-19 patients when they are discharged from hospital.

“These providers go through rigorous scrutiny from local authorities, NHS commissioning groups and the Care Quality Commission.

“They are only accepted to take patients if they meet the extremely high standards required around infection prevention and control in the home.

“The social care sector is keen to support this action and quickly provide the right environment for people to recover from Covid-19 whilst protecting the rest of the community from the virus.”

Amanda Bloor, NHS North Yorkshire CCG Accountable Officer and chair of the North Yorkshire group of NHS and local government Chief Executives, said: “As the number of Covid patients in hospital beds in and around North Yorkshire continues to rise, it’s vital that older and disabled adults, who are otherwise medically fit to be discharged, have a place to go to where they can be cared for and looked after.

“The CQC has set stringent protocols which residential care and nursing home providers must meet before they are permitted to take in hospital patients with a Covid-19 diagnosis and I know there has been considerable effort to meet these high standards and maintain a separation between Covid-confirmed residents and those who are Covid-free.”

Richard Webb, Director of Health and Adult Services at North Yorkshire County Council added: “We would like to thank North Yorkshire’s care providers for working so hard to keep their residents as safe and well as possible.

“It is important that we have some safe, secure places for people being discharged from hospital, who need a longer recovery from Covid. The new beds will provide the care that people need and will also be separated out from other residents, so that everyone is protected”.