Cornwall Council declares social care critical incident

From today’s Western Morning News:

DESPERATE measures to get elderly patients out of hospital and into social care are to be undertaken in the Westcountry in response to a health care crisis.

Cornwall Council yesterday declared a critical incident in adult social care, echoing a similar warning from the National Health Service.

The council pledged to work with its 70 homecare providers and 222 care homes to find accommodation for 180 patients, who have finished their hospital treatment but are currently blocking beds needed for new cases.

It has also called on residents to help out neighbours or friends recently discharged from hospital to ease the pressure on the system.

Cllr Andy Virr, Cabinet Member for Care and Wellbeing said: “These extraordinary circumstances require a different level of response in our care system, which is currently unable to meet demand – particularly for hospital discharges. This approach will see us work as one system, sharing risk in order to meet these increased demands, and I’d like to say a big thank you to those families and service users who are helping support us in this.

“If you have a friend or neighbour who was recently discharged from hospital please consider how you might be able to help in their recovery. It can be something as simple as running an errand or making a phone call to check they’re OK.”

The council is also asking the voluntary sector to mobilise resources to support efforts to free up 100 beds within two weeks.

Hospitals across the South West have reported huge pressure during the coronavirus crisis, made worse by the problem of finding care for patients ready to go home.