Support and money were vital factors in COVID-19 containment, new research finds

Individual care providers’ financial and organisational resources, and their ability to procure PPE and access to testing for staff and residents are among the reasons for the regional variation in the number of care home deaths from COVID-19, says the Health Foundation.

In new research, the think-tank says that key to reducing transmission is the amount of time and support that care homes were given to reduce transmission from the community and from hospitals.

Other factors relate to the staff and residents in individual care homes, including their own health and vulnerability to COVID-19.

Recent data has shown that those in the most deprived areas are more than twice as likely to die from COVID-19. Compared to the South, more care homes in the North of England are in underprivileged areas, which might be reflected in increased vulnerability to COVID-19 among care home residents and staff.

Analysis from the Health Foundation reveals that London and the North of England have been the hardest hit in terms of the proportion of deaths among residents from the virus.

Fiona Grimm, senior data analyst at the Health Foundation, said: “The overall mortality data for care homes suggests that a government ‘action plan’ for social care, published nearly a month after the lockdown was introduced, has come too late.

“The government’s strategy for care homes stands in contrast to its approach to the NHS. While no action plan could undo decades of political neglect, questions should be asked as to how many deaths could have been prevented had action been taken earlier.”

UNISON is demanding that Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the UK government do more to ensure that:

  • Trade union Unison has launched a petition calling on the Government to ensure every worker has access to a risk assessment, PPE and proper training in infection control and use of PPE for every worker who needs it.
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