Care providers are warning there is no excuse for complacency, after another fall in the number of people who have died from coronavirus in social care settings was announced.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) says it is vital that the country keeps up the pressure on the virus.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Today’s figures are again welcome in that the total is falling. But overall, the number of people who have died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes in England is approaching 13,000. We must not become complacent – this thing isn’t beaten yet.
“We have all worked so extremely hard to get Covid-19 under control, it would be a tragedy if we took our foot off the gas now and let a second spike happen.”
Today’s figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that 705 people in England and Wales died in care and nursing homes from Covid-19 in the week up to 29th May. That is down from 1,090 the previous week. The weeks before that recorded 1,660, 1,666, 2,423 and 2,800 deaths respectively. The ONS says the number of deaths involving Covid-19 in care and nursing homes registered up to 29th May was 12,828 in England and 626 in Wales.
“We have to remember that each death is a tragedy – someone’s mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or friend and for that reason we cannot let up,” Mr Padgham added.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) yesterday welcomed the announcement of a social care task force to help the sector protect older and vulnerable people through coronavirus.
It said it hoped the task force would go beyond coronavirus and help shape the future of the sector.
Mr Padgham added: “An expert-led task force is something we have called for for many years, as a way to take social care forward.
“We are delighted to see this new task force announced and hope it works swiftly to not only help everyone who is looked after by social care through coronavirus, but also to look at the whole future of social care and guide it into a more sustainable future, with better funding and parity with the NHS.”
ICG priorities for the future are:
•The total integration of NHS healthcare and social care
•Social care free at the point of need, funded through taxation or National Insurance
•Direct financial support for care providers during the current pandemic paid through CQC
•A commissioner for older people and those with Learning Disabilities in England
•A national career pathway and salary framework for care staff
•Professional registration for care staff
•A properly-costed national rate for care fees
•Needs-based continuing healthcare (CHC) payments
•A Covid-19 bonus for all frontline care staff.
“David Pearson is an excellent choice to lead the task force. We hope he is joined quickly by other experts from the social care sector and wish him God’s speed,” Mr Padgham added.