Coronavirus continues to pose a significant challenge to care homes and I am aware that as we move into the autumn, these challenges are likely to increase.
In July I highlighted the key areas of focus within our plan to support the care home sector, and committed to updating members on progress in the autumn. To reiterate, these areas of the Care Homes Action Plan are: infection prevention and control, personal protective equipment, general and clinical support for care homes, residents’ well-being, social care workers’ well-being and financial sustainability. Today I published an update on progress against these key areas at: https://gov.wales/care-homes-action-plan
As part of the general and clinical support for care homes element of the plan we commissioned Professor John Bolton, a consultant in adult social care, to undertake an independent rapid review of care homes’ operational experience between July and September. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank to Professor Bolton for his work, and confirm that the final report has now been completed and is available on the Welsh Government website at: https://gov.wales/rapid-review-care-homes-relation-covid-19
As part of this review, Professor Bolton conducted a number of interviews with key organisations across Wales to identify areas of best practice and lessons to be learnt ahead of winter pressures. Seminars were held in each region across Wales to support Regional Partnership Boards to develop bespoke action plans to support care homes in their region, and all seven regions have now completed their plans. I am grateful to all organisations who participated in this review during this busy period, and particularly to the Regional Partnership Boards for their constructive engagement in this process.
Both Professor Bolton’s report, and the Care Homes Action Plan update indicate that while there are many examples of good practice across the sector there is still further work to do to ensure the sector continues to be supported. I will provide a further update on progress later this year.