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Government failures have left care homes sector ‘on a cliff edge’

GOVERNMENT failure has left care homes in Britain facing a “three-wave tsunami” that threatens to destroy the sector, a care home boss warned today.

Nicola Richards, director of Palms Row Health Care in Sheffield, said that the sector was “on a cliff edge,” with homes across Britain facing closure as they spend an extra £38.6 million per week on Covid-19 costs.

She said that 18 residents had died and a further 60 tested positive for coronavirus at two of the three care homes she runs in the city. And she warned that without government intervention, the death toll will keep rising.

Local authorities have been given more than £3 billion to support services as such care homes, but Ms Richards said that she has not received any money so far to cover her extra costs, which include staffing and protective wear.

The manager said the that sector was at risk unless the money for care homes is ring-fenced and assurances are given on continued funding, despite the fall in occupancy in many homes as a result of coronavirus.

“We feel there have been failings of central and local government in relation to Covid-19 and care homes across the country,” Ms Richards said.

“We should have been afforded the focus, support and protection like the NHS. Sadly, care homes have taken the full force of the impact of this pandemic because of government policy, and this could yet get worse.

“All in all, the blame must lay at the government’s door.”

Britain has 11,300 care homes, looking after 410,000 mainly elderly residents, according to the Office for National Statistics.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman claimed that the government was “working around the clock” to support care homes.


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