There has been much criticism levelled at the lack of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) available to care homes at the beginning of the Covid-19 emergency and this new model of support has been designed to ensure that nothing like that should occur again.
Peterborough City Council is to work with the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) to provide a new enhanced level of support to care homes.
Addressing fellow members of the city council Cabinet at their online meeting this week (June 22), Wendi Ogle-Welbourn, Director People and Communities, said: “From the end of June, every care home will have a dedicated health team made up of a GP clinical lead, a community health service lead provided by CPFT, and a pharmacist.
“This core health team will have access to specialist support from adult social care, specialist community health services such as tissue viability nurses, geriatricians, end of life services and social prescribers.
“Every care home with have a ‘weekly check in’, led by their GP, that may trigger wider multidisciplinary meetings involving specialist support colleagues and regular medication reviews.
“This will inform the creation of personal care and support plans that will also include escalation and end of life plans where appropriate.
“The virtual team around each home will meet using video conferencing and video appointments.”
Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald, referring to the government's new Infection Control Fund said: “Can you explain the difference in financial terms that this new fund will mean to the care homes?”
Ms Ogle-Welbourn replied: “The council agreed to give all of our care providers a 10% uplift in funding prior to us getting any additional funding through government.
“All of our care providers were incredibly grateful for this uplift which has seen them through some of the toughest financial days of the coronavirus epidemic.
“We agreed the 10% uplift and additional PPE until the end of June which amounted to something like £2.6m.
“A couple of weeks ago we got notification from the government that we would be receiving an Infection Control Fund that could be used to replace that 10% the council had put in to care homes.
“What this means in practical terms is that care homes were getting roughly £600 per bed from the council’s 10%, but now, using the government's Infection Control Fund that figure will rise to £900 per bed.
“That is a significant increase, but the money must be spent on infection control measures particularly around supporting homes with care staff.
“What this means is that 75% of that fund will go directly to the care homes themselves and not the care providers necessarily, with the remaining 25% going to the council for their discretionary use.
“We’ve made the decision – and all of our care providers have agreed with this – that our 25% discretionary fund will go directly to our home care providers, which I think is an incredibly important decision to have made.
“This means that from March through to September 2020, we will have spent an overall £5.7m ensuring support for the care sector.
“We’re now committed to this new model of support in its development as it will enable a preventative and integrated approach to improving the wellbeing of all residents in every home.
“We should expect to see better outcomes for residents, a reduction in avoidable admissions to hospital, early supported discharge from hospital and a reduction in safeguarding concerns involving acts of omission.
“From an adult social care perspective this provides an opportunity to promote person centred, strength-based conversations, the early use of technology enabled care and community resources and a more streamlined and timely approach to reviews.”