Responding to the latest Government press briefing, in which it was confirmed that every care home worker and resident will be tested by early June and that from today, every care home has a named clinical lead on infection control, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“To be frank, we should have been testing all care home staff and residents before now, but this is an advance. Giving every care home its own infection control advisor is welcome and builds on the support primary care networks are already providing.
“The death toll in care homes is sobering, and we hear there are still problems in these services accessing the testing and protective equipment they need. They deserve better and we must see these national promises are kept.
“The pandemic has also revealed the very best of humanity, with people and services working together to achieve a common goal like never before. We can see this with health leaders and clinical staff including GPs working with each other and with social care, to support each other and join up services.
“The road ahead is daunting, but everyone in the service is clear that we cannot return to the way things were. We need to use this tragedy to tackle bureaucracy, funding and staffing concerns, and silo working. This is the moment for NHS Reset.
“Our plea goes out to ministers and to the political class more generally. If there were ever a moment to agree to reform social care and end the disgrace of its treatment as a second class service, it is now. It was always going to be difficult to protect the most vulnerable – but we could have done better, and we must do better now.”