The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges for many colleagues working in the social care sector, making retention and recruitment more important than ever. Vida Healthcare's Bernadette Mossman explains how she and her colleagues have been encouraging vaccination among their staff.
COVID-19 vaccination has to be comprehensive to be truly effective as protection – particularly for those most vulnerable to infection. While the SAGE recommended levels of at least 80% of care home staff and 90% of residents have been reached and exceeded in many parts of England, regional variation persists.
Deborah Sturdy, our Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, explains why the Government, following wide consultation with the care sector, has taken the difficult decision to make vaccination a mandatory condition of deployment in care homes.
"Today, on Young Carers Action Day, it's more important than ever to acknowledge how difficult the last year has been. It’s not in doubt everyone has had their life altered by the events of recent months, but some have been affected more than others." The Children's Society's Melissa Moody reflects on the past 12 months and her part in helping to shape new guidance for young carers like herself.
Just over a year ago, ‘infection control’ was probably something many people assumed happened mainly in hospitals to prevent illnesses spreading on the wards. Yet guidance on its application has been provided in care settings for quite some time. Much of it follows the same principles now used in the struggle against COVID-19.
The roll out of new vaccines has offered a ray of hope during this challenging time. Deborah Sturdy, our Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care is delighted so many care home staff and residents have now been offered their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Deborah emphasises just how vital it it that everyone who can take up the offer of vaccination does so when their turn comes. She received the first dose recently and will be taking up the second in the next few months.
This is Deborah Sturdy, Interim Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care's first blog of 2021 and one which she finds herself posting in unprecedented times. She is nonetheless honoured to have this opportunity to work with - not just the nursing profession - but the whole social care workforce, as together the sector strives to meet the continuing challenges of COVID-19.
On the first day the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was rolled out, HC-Ones Daneside Court care staff were fortunate enough to be among the first to be offered vaccinations. Understandably, there was some nervousness among colleagues around the vaccine being new. As Managing Director of HC-One’s family of care homes. Ruth Yates wanted to lead by example so, along with 12 other willing colleagues, she attended the Countess of Chester Hospital to be vaccinated.
If someone had told registered manager Melissa Jones three weeks ago her care home would be filled with the voices, laughter and tears of relatives being reunited with loved ones she wouldn’t have believed them. That was until she received an email from Cornwall Council looking for care homes to take part in a pilot for rapid COVID-19 testing for visitors...
Advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support has recently been published. The guidance has been produced in part with the help and wise counsel of Simon Wilson and Katherine Wynne, two individuals with lived experience and a wealth of ideas to improve service provision and support for people with disabilities.
Anyone working in the care sector – and in residential care settings in particular – knows how vital infection prevention and control is in keeping residents, staff and visitors safe and well. The continued prevalence of COVID-19 in our communities only heightens our collective awareness of this essential line of defence. Back in April, Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, issued a call to action to CCGs tasking them to deliver ‘train the trainer’ sessions on infection prevention and control to all care homes by the end of May.