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Statement from the CPA about Covid 19

10 March 2020

1. How prepared is the Adult Social Care sector?§

On 3 March, the government announced the Coronavirus Action Plan and on 8 March the government announced further plans to support the health and care sector. Details can be found here. These include outlining what might be included in a Covid-19 Emergency Bill which include measures to enhance workforce capacity by increasing the availability of volunteers by freeing them up from their paid roles, and supporting retired professionals out from retirement.   

Depending on what else gets considered to be part of this emergency provision, then extending these changes over a two-year in the proposed with the ‘sunsetting’ clause could have quite a fundamental long term impact on health and care delivery.  

As far as reasonable and practicable providers will manage with their existing workforce. We understand the cost implications of using Agency and other pressures that cost increases on basic supplies may have. Where possible we are ensuring that all types of social care provisions should have equal accessibility to that of the NHS.

 All of our members are prioritising safe and effective care, support and services at this time.

2. Why will a disproportionate amount of older people be affected?§

Currently we are working to support the government with their Contain plan: detect early cases, follow up close contacts, and prevent the disease taking hold in this country for as long as is reasonably possible.

In the first big analysis of the virus, conducted by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC), health officials looked at more than 44,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in China up to February 11. More than 80% of confirmed cases were mild, just over 13% of cases were classed as severe and only 4.7% as critical.

The Chinese study found the number of deaths among those infected rises among those over 80 years old, with 14.8% of people aged 80 and above at risk of death from the virus.

 We also can identify those patients with at least one additional health condition (including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hepatitis B, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney diseases, and cancer) as this long term conditions will be on the individual care assessment, enabling providers to risk asses our most vulnerable citizens.

3. What practical guidance would you give?§

The COBRA meeting held on Monday 9 March restated the UK focus on containment of the virus, and did not introduce ‘social distancing’ at this stage. Guidance on what this might mean in practice can be found here.

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • try to avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, mouth)
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work 
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

It is imperative that organisations keep informed about this fast moving situation. CPA members are working hard to ensure there remains an accurate and informed set of information available at all times. The latest information can be found here and here.