A new report by the National Care Forum (NCF) has highlighted a number of key issues for the sector after the first round of the pandemic.
The report – LESS COVID: Learning by Experience and Supporting the Care Home Sector during the COVID-19 pandemic – provides an account of key lessons learnt, so far, by frontline care home and NHS staff.
The research project was funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust and researchers worked directly with frontline care home staff and frontline NHS staff to capture the lessons they have learnt about the symptoms, progression and management of Covid-19 in older people.
The report highlights a number of issues, including the need to expand the use of digital technology, support the wellbeing and health of the workforce and recognise the expertise of care home staff.
It also calls on the government to develop PPE plans in ‘equal partnership’ with the care sector.
The report also recommends testing for care home visitors, as well as CQC inspectors, health professionals and hairdressers.
It also says more work needs to be done to explore the impact of Covid-19 on care home residents.
‘This research was inspired by the daily conversations with our NCF members who were very eager to share their rapidly emerging learning and expertise in responding to COVID-19 in care homes,’ said NCF policy director, Liz Jones.
‘It is not simply theory but real-life experience of staff on the frontline, both in care homes and the NHS. It looks in detail at the clinical presentation and illness trajectory of COVID-19 in older people, what had worked well, or what more was needed, for providing the best care and treatment and lessons learnt for supporting older people in care homes.
‘The practical ideas and actions suggested will help us to find better ways to manage the virus to inform our future response in subsequent waves.’
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