Covid in Devon’s care homes at highest level

Covid outbreaks in Devon’s care homes are at their highest level since the pandemic began.

BBC News

New figures presented to Devon County Council showed 160 outbreaks in care settings across Devon as of 10 January.

The number is far higher than the previous peak of just over 90 a year ago, with the total number of active outbreaks tripling in less than a month.

A council director warned the situation in care was “as tough as ever”.

Tim Golby, associate director of commissioning at the county council, warned that despite reports the pandemic may be easing, outbreaks were having a “massive impact” on the ability to discharge and support people from hospital.

“But we manage that,” Mr Golby said, “and we work with the market teams to get those homes clear of infection and work through all national protocols to make sure that eventually we can admit people once the infection is brought under control.”

Mr Golby was speaking to Devon County Council’s health and adult care scrutiny committee on Thursday, as reported by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The government is providing an additional £60m to local authorities to support the social care response to Covid in January, with Devon receiving just under £900,000 from the fund.

The money is going towards increasing ventilation in care homes, enhancing the direct pay local authorities can offer to friends and family carers, and pay for temporary staff to cover increased staff absence.