Government Replies on the discharge of patients with Covid 19 into care homes; the death of the father of Dr.Cathy Gardner; why some residents of care homes are being asked to pay more than £100 a week in extra fees to cover the costs of COVID-19, and some care homes face closure; and the 386 deaths linked to learning disabilities and autism between 10 April and 15 May; and the use of niclosamide as a treatment for COVID-1

Jun 18, 2020 | Uncategorized

 

Government Replies on the discharge of patients with Covid 19 into care homes; the death of the father of Dr.Cathy Gardner; why some residents of care homes are being asked to pay more than £100 a week in extra fees to cover the costs of COVID-19, and some care homes face closure; and the 386 deaths linked to learning disabilities and autism between 10 April and 15 May

Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL5345):

Question from Lord Alton of Liverpool:


To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they took in response to the information published by Public Health England in February advising that (1) people should not be discharged from hospitals into care homes if there was risk of COVID-19 transmission, (2) it was not safe to discharge untested individuals to care homes from hospitals where there was between five and 25 cases, and (3) there should be no discharges to care or residential homes. (HL5345)

Tabled on: 08 June 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

The scenario set out in Public Health England’s (PHE) National Infection Service document, issued on 24 February, related to hospital-acquired COVID-19 outbreaks during the containment phase of COVID-19, prior to 12 March, when there was no sustained community transmission in the United Kingdom. There was no evidence of recorded cases of hospital-acquired COVID-19 outbreaks during the COVID-19 containment phase and before 19 March when the COVID-19 hospital discharge service requirements were published.

On 12 March the Government announced that we were moving our COVID-19 response from the ‘contain’ to ‘delay’ phase. On 13 March PHE published new guidance to care homes. We subsequently published the COVID-19 hospital discharge service requirements on 19 March.

Since the start of the outbreak we have been working closely with the sector and public health experts to ensure we have the right guidance and support in place for care homes.

Date and time of answer: 18 Jun 2020 at 12:21.

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Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL5152):

Question from Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether patients were discharged to care homes by NHS hospitals in the 30 days before ministers introduced routine COVID-19 testing; if so, why; and what assessment was made of the preparedness of the social care sector for the arrival of such patients. (HL5152)

Tabled on: 03 June 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

It has always been our priority to ensure that everyone is discharged safely from hospital and to the most appropriate available place. On 19 March we published the COVID-19 Hospital Discharge Service Requirements to support the safe and rapid discharge of patients who no longer need acute care. This specified that, wherever possible, people who are clinically ready should be supported to return to their place of residence (this could be a care home), where assessment of longer-term needs will take place. This follows the ‘Discharge to Assess’ model. Where a patient had been tested for COVID-19, we specified that results – whether negative or positive – should be included in a patient’s discharge documents.

To support the sector, this guidance also sets out the steps that care providers should be taking, and we provided £1.3 billion to support the process. We have provided advice to care homes throughout the pandemic in response to the latest conditions and emerging evidence and data.

On 2 April we published our Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance. This set out further advice on infection control procedures for care homes e.g. limiting visits to essential visits only unless exceptional circumstances and providing advice on isolation, decontamination, cleaning and protective measures for staff. We recommended that all symptomatic residents in care homes should be immediately isolated for 14 days from the onset of symptoms, including patients discharged from hospital.

On 15 April we published our Adult Social Care Plan which included a commitment to all patients being tested prior to discharge to a care home. A copy of COVID-19: Our Action Plan for Adult Social Care is attached.

Copies of the COVID-19 Hospital Discharge Service Requirements and Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home are attached.

The following documents were submitted as part of the answer and are appended to this email:

  1. File name: COVID-19_hospital_discharge_service_requirements.pdf
    Description: Hospital Discharge Service Requirements
  2. File name: admission-and-care-of-residents-during-covid-19-incident-in-a-care-home.pdf
    Description: Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19
  3. File name: covid-19-adult-social-care-action-plan.pdf
    Description: Action Plan for Adult Social Care

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Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL5347):

Question from Lord Alton of Liverpool:


To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the letter sent to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care by Cathy Gardner questioning the legality of discharging patients with COVID-19 into care homes, including the one in which her father died on 3 April, and calling for a retraction of the statement that a “protective ring had been thrown around care homes”; when they intend to respond; and what advice they have (1) sought, and (2) been given, by Government law officers in response to that correspondence. (HL5347)

Tabled on: 08 June 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

The Government does not comment on litigation matters.

Every death from this virus is a tragedy. It is our priority to ensure that everyone is discharged safely from hospital and to the most appropriate available place. Patients are discharged when it is clinically safe and they no longer need acute care.

We have provided extensive support and guidance to care homes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We have also provided local authorities with £3.2 billion to help them deal with the impacts of COVID-19, as well as £1.3 billion via the National Health Service to enhance the NHS discharge process. On 13 May, we announced an additional new £600 million Infection Control Fund for care homes to tackle the spread of COVID-19.

Date and time of answer: 18 Jun 2020 at 12:18.

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Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL5344):

Question from Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the statement by Age UK that (1) some residents of care homes are being asked to pay more than £100 a week in extra fees to cover the costs of COVID-19, and (2) the inability of residents to meet these costs could precipitate closures of care homes leaving residents homeless. (HL5344)

Tabled on: 08 June 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

When choosing to charge, a local authority must not charge more than the cost that it incurs in meeting the assessed needs of the person. A local authority must also regularly reassess a person’s ability to meet the cost of any charges to take account of any changes to their resources.

We know the social care sector is under pressure due to growing demand from both older people and those of working age. We are providing councils with a £1 billion grant for adults and children’s social care on top of maintaining £2.5 billion of existing social care grants for 2020/21. We have provided £3.2 billion to local authorities to help with COVID-19 pressures, and a £600 million Infection Control Fund for care homes, 75% of which must be distributed on a ‘per bed’ basis, including to social care providers with whom the local authority does not have existing contracts.

Date and time of answer: 18 Jun 2020 at 12:18.

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Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL5155):

Question from Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports by the Care Quality Commission that there were 386 deaths linked to learning disabilities and autism between 10 April and 15 May, representing a 134 per cent rise compared with the same period in 2019. (HL5155)

Tabled on: 03 June 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

We have commissioned Public Health England to undertake a detailed analysis of the numbers of deaths of people with a learning disability. This will draw on data published by NHS England and by the Care Quality Commission to assess the impact of COVID-19 on this group of people.

Date and time of answer: 18 Jun 2020 at 12:14.

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Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL4304):

Question from Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that hospitals discharged patients with COVID-19 to care homes without alerting those care homes to such patient’s suspected or confirmed diagnosis; whether they expect the Care Quality Commission to publish a report on any such instances; if so, (1) when they estimate that report will be published, and (2) whether the findings will be presented to Parliament; and what assessment they have made of the risk of legal proceedings being brought against any hospital found to have acted in such a way. (HL4304)

Tabled on: 12 May 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is aware of a small number of cases where care homes have told them that a patient’s positive COVID-19 status was known to the hospital but not disclosed at the point of discharge. The CQC is currently assessing whether there have been any breaches of regulation on the part of the hospital. Once all the relevant information has been reviewed, the CQC will assess what action might be appropriate, if any. Any enforcement action taken by the CQC would be made public. Due to the very small number of cases the CQC has been made aware of and is reviewing, it would be unlikely that this information would form the basis of a standalone report. If the CQC receives further information on this issue, it may seek to publish a report in the future.

Date and time of answer: 18 Jun 2020 at 12:14.

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Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL5448):

Question from Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the antihelmintic drug, Niclosamide, as a potential treatment for mild to moderate cases of COVID-19; and what assessment they have made of trials undertaken in South Korea on the use of Niclosamide to treat COVID-19. (HL5448)

Tabled on: 09 June 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has not received any applications for the use of niclosamide as a treatment for COVID-19 and has not undertaken any assessment of the trials in South Korea.

Currently, there are no ongoing clinical trials in the United Kingdom involving niclosamide for the treatment of COVID-19. However, there are three worldwide trials regarding this treatment listed on the United States National Library of Medicine, in the United States, France and Egypt, though none of these are recruiting currently.

The MHRA is working closely with the Department and the office of the Chief Medical Officer to prioritise potential treatments for COVID-19. The MHRA will consider any application made by a sponsor or potential marketing authorisation holder to run a clinical trial.

Date and time of answer: 17 Jun 2020 at 16:23.

 

 

Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

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