Coronavirus Update on Care Homes
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been leading the Government's daily news conference on the continued response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The number of deaths relating to COVID-19 is falling each day and we are thankfully past the peak of the virus, but there is clearly much more to be done so that we can save even more lives.
The Health Secretary reiterated the Government's road map out of lockdown that was announced last weekend and implored people to continue to follow the measures over the weekend.
It is so critical that we avoid a second peak of this invisible killer. There is a huge national effort to get 'R' figure (infection rate) down and to keep it down.
There has been a huge need to protect people in care homes especially. Care homes do so much to look after our elderly citizens in their final years and we now have a duty to keep residents and staff safe as this virus plays out. As we all know, this horrible virus affects older people the most.
The Government set out their first advice on care homes in February and have strengthened it as the pandemic has grown.
Social care is a devolved matter, however, the Health Secretary reminded the public that in England he has made an extra £600m available to care homes in England.
There is now a firm policy in place of testing any residents returning to a care home from hospital and this measure is certainly saving lives.
Now we have the capacity for well over 100,000 tests per day, staff and care home residents are now all being tested. Matt Hancock confirmed that all staff and residents in care homes will be tested for Coronavirus between now and the beginning of June.
The Government and the NHS have been supporting care home managers and staff to ensure residents remain as safe as possible. Networks of further clinical support have been established in our communities too.
Local authorities are now required to carry out daily reviews of the situation in their care homes so the situation can be continuously monitored.
As always, over the weekend please do continue to observe social distancing measures and stay safe.