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Care homes supported as council’s proactive work provides vital assistance

01 May 2020

A resident supported by a care home worker.

A major operation to help protect the local care sector from coronavirus is continuing across the borough through a range of dedicated support.

The council has been working proactively since early last month to protect workers and residents in our local care sector as part of the local response to the global pandemic.

Measures taken to protect the care sector so far include:

  • Taking over a local hotel so that care home residents with coronavirus symptoms and staff who need to stay away from their families can be isolated.
  • Introducing local testing for care workers.
  • Supplying thousands of additional items of vital Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to homes across the borough.
  • Introducing rigorous infection control policies in care homes.
  • Supplying providers with upfront cash payments of more than £1 million to help with any cash flow issues.
  • Supplying food to care homes struggling to get deliveries.
  • Providing daily calls from a quality assurance team and a new discharge policy to help free up vital beds.

To date the local care sector, including domiciliary care workers who visit people in their own homes, has been provided with 250,000 pairs of gloves, 100,000 masks and 100,000 aprons to help protect hundreds of frontline staff and vulnerable residents from the spread of the virus.

A rigorous infection control policy is in place at all care homes and, through effective partnership working, is monitored and controlled on a daily basis by the infection control service and the council's public health team.

Clinical staff from Bury and Rochdale Care Organisation are carrying out swabbing at a drive through testing site set-up in central Rochdale specifically for local health and social care workers, so that staff do not have to travel to the regional test centre at Manchester Airport. Frontline staff working across the care sector are being tested every day and testing is also being carried out in care homes for people who are unable to access the local site.

The council's range of support is helping to ease pressures and each day is seeing more bed capacity freed up across the system.

All frontline social care staff are playing their part, including the council's STARS team who have stepped in to help provide palliative care and support for older people.

'I am very proud of the work of our staff and all frontline workers across the borough'

Councillor Iftikhar Ahmed, cabinet member for adult care, said: "We have been working very closely with our care homes and providers to ensure they receive the highest quality of support to help meet the challenges at this difficult time. I am very proud of the work of our staff and all frontline workers across the borough."

He added: "It is reassuring that we are heading in the right direction, but there is still a lot of work to do and we will continue to ensure all local care homes and care providers are supported in any way possible. I would like to pay tribute to everyone's amazing and dedicated work, it has been of the highest possible standard, and I can't thank our frontline heroes enough."

Paula Braynion, managing director of care provider Future Directions, said: "Rochdale Borough Council has shown real leadership by ensuring their providers have had cash provision for extra pressures in dealing with COVID-19. They have led the way and shown true partnership working. Rochdale is an excellent example of how it should work. Thank you."