End of free lateral flow tests that worry families of Bedford care home residents Bedford News

And a new Covid vaccine booster program and grants coming to an end are also challenges facing care homes.

Kate Walker, Director of Adult Services at Bedford Borough Council, gave an update on Covid to the Adult Services Presentation and Review Committee yesterday (Tuesday March 29).

She said: ‘Families and loved ones are concerned that they will not receive free lateral flow tests from April 1.

Nursing homes face new Covid challenges

“Unless that changes in the next few days, which could happen because things happen quite quickly at the last minute, that means care home providers can’t just let people in.

“The directive is that people must be tested and have proof that they are negative.

“We are monitoring very carefully what happens this week with any further updates in this regard, and it is a similar circumstance for social workers and others who may need to visit a care home.

“Care homes have been providing free lateral flow testing because the government passed it on, but they are now restricted and they don’t have the capacity to do it after April 1.

“We are working with suppliers on how they can safely manage while waiting [new] government guidelines,” she said.

Ms Walker also explained that the ‘spring booster’ is for people aged 75 and over and living in care homes, as well as people with weakened immune systems.

“We don’t have all the plans in place for our care homes yet, but we are working closely with the CCG,” she said.

Councilor James Weir (Conservative, rural Kempston ward) said: ‘The infection control funding was that the £1,000 per bed that was given, or is it something different?’

Ms Walker replied that there was one calculation per bed, which changed during the pandemic, and covered a range of issues.

“It was about staffing, it was about making sure providers had enough money to hire agency staff when their own staff needed to self-isolate,” she said. declared.

“It was around visiting restrictions and planning, it was around equipment and things that would help inside the house.

“It had a huge range of things and restricted movement, helping people get to taxis to get to work and not carpooling, that sort of thing,” she said.

Committee chairman, Councilor Roger Rigby (Conservative, Bromham & Biddenham Ward) said: “There seems to be a lack of funding going forward.

“But in terms of the safety of people in care homes, testing of staff, that kind of money for testing seems like it’s all going to go away,” he said.

Ms Walker said: “If the guidelines don’t change, are they still supposed to work at that level within the household and the restrictions without the extra funds to put the mechanisms in place?

“So we are waiting for the latest guidelines and seeing if there are any changes,” she said.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-30 16:00:58

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