Work ongoing to support North Yorkshire’s care homes and care providers, officials say

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Public bodies in North Yorkshire dealing with the coronavirus pandemic say they are working hard to support care homes and other care providers during the crisis.

In North Yorkshire, the county council, North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Vale of York CCG, Bradford and Craven CCG and Public Health England are working with care providers to ensure everything possible is done to protect vulnerable residents and frontline staff.

Meeting daily, they are tracking the support that is offered and identifying further measures to contain and reduce outbreaks wherever possible.

“The care sector in North Yorkshire employs more than 17,000 people,” said Cllr Michael Harrison, executive member for adult services and health integration.

“Their work is fundamental to meeting the challenges of Covid-19 and to keeping people safe and well looked after.

“We recognise the difficulties facing care homes and other care providers. That is why Public Health England, the NHS, the County Council and City of York Council are working closely with them, both those where people have Covid-19 symptoms or diagnoses and those that remain free of the disease.”

A combination of actions and support is helping to protect residents and staff.

These include help with training, staffing, additional payments to contribute to Covid-19 costs, a hardship fund and help with implementing national guidance on safe practice and infection control.

Recruitment to the county council and the wider care sector continues.

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Officials say strict personal hygiene and regular thorough cleaning within homes remains a crucial protective measure.

In addition, the authorities are working with affected homes to try to zone them so that they can protect people from Covid-19 and ensure that patients discharged from hospital can be cared for in appropriate surroundings to meet their needs.

Testing is now available for key workers, with mobile and home testing being rolled out.

The authorities are also doing all they can to source personal protective equipment (PPE), with supplies delivered to the Local Resilience Forum being made available to care providers where their usual suppliers are unable to deliver.

The county council said they were also grateful to the businesses and schools that have donated PPE and were now increasing their production.

Advice is also being offered to families who may be concerned about relatives living in care homes.

Cllr Harrison added: “We thank care homes for all they are doing to support residents and their families. We would ask them to help residents to stay in contact with their loved ones, by telephone or other technology.

“We are also asking providers to keep families informed if they have an outbreak of Covid-19 in a home and about the steps they are taking to address it and to keep people safe and well.”

If relatives have concerns, they should speak to the care home directly or to their social worker, if they have one.

Alternatively, in North Yorkshire contact the County Council’s customer service centre on 01609 780780, 8am to 5.30pm every day and for emergencies overnight.