English councils told to set up hundreds of Covid-dedicated care homes

Hundreds of dedicated Covid-positive care homes are to be set up in an effort to keep patients discharged from hospitals from spreading the virus more widely, as happened in the first wave of the pandemic.

a man standing in front of a building: Photograph: Simon Rawles/Alamy Stock Photo

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Photograph: Simon Rawles/Alamy Stock Photo

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has instructed councils to identify homes in their areas that could be used and to have them checked by inspectors to assure infection prevention controls are in place. As many as 500 facilities – sometimes known as “hot homes” – could be designated by the end of November, the equivalent of one or two in each council area.

But one leading care home boss said many in the sector had been “blindsided” by the demand and Care England, which represents the largest chains, said participation depended on the government providing more detail about funding, the safety of

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Councils pay care homes DOUBLE to take Covid patients

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Care home chiefs fear deadly mistakes made at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic risk being repeated as councils offer them extra cash to take Covid-positive hospital patients.

More than 15,000 people died of the virus in care homes earlier this year, according to official figures, after it was reported that many elderly residential facilities were flooded with Covid-19 patients returning from hospital.

Now, despite a Government pledge to place a ‘protective ring’ around vulnerable residents, care homes in Cumbria are being offered £1,500 – double the local weekly fee – to take Covid-positive patients from hospital.

Birmingham city council has been offering £1,000 incentives for months while Morecambe Bay clinical commissioning group wrote to care homes offering them extra cash only last month.

Trafford council in Greater Manchester has also warned care homes to ready themselves for a fresh wave of hospital

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