Elderly Covid patients leaving hospital will be moved to one of two special care homes to recover

Two care homes will take elderly people who test positive for Covid when they leave hospital so they don't spread the...

Two care homes will take elderly people who test positive for Covid when they leave hospital so they don't spread the virus to other residents. Picture: PA - Credit: PA

Special care homes for elderly people recovering from Covid-19 are being set up to help prevent the virus sweeping through nursing facilities as it did earlier this year.

There will be one in Redbridge and one in Havering to take people from those boroughs and Barking and Dagenham.

During the first wave of the pandemic care homes saw high numbers of deaths among residents.

It is believed the virus was brought in by visitors, staff moving between work places and residents who were discharged from hospital without being tested.

In April health and social care secretary Matt Hancock announced that all people being discharged into care homes from hospital needed to have a coronavirus test.

Barking and Dagenham Council said those who test positive but are still well enough to be discharged, will go to a Covid secure home to overcome the virus.

“As part of ensuring that we embed learnings from the first wave of the pandemic Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham produced a report entitled Care Homes during Covid-19 which reflects on the thoughts and experiences of residents, families and staff during the first wave of the pandemic,” Thomas Stansfeld, lead commissioner for older people, said in his report to the borough’s Health and Wellbeing Board last week.

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“Key areas such as PPE support, communication, visiting for families and friends, and support for our care home staff are key recommendations in the Healthwatch report and we have built on the existing support in this winter plan.

“The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has asked for local authorities to nominate a care home to act as a designated setting to accept Covid positive patients. We have worked with our colleagues across Barking, Havering and Redbridge to identify these settings.”

He added that two homes have been identified in Havering and Redbridge, accounting for 20 to 35 beds. “Extra protection has been put in place around these care homes,” he said. “Such as a CQC inspection and extra support from North East London NHS Foundation Trust. The aim of this programme is to reduce the risk of Covid transmission to the wider care home market.”