Dominique Kent, co-founder of the Live-in Care Hub, is calling for 21,000 more care workers to join the sector and ensure elderly and vulnerable people can safely be discharged home from hospital during the coronavirus crisis.
Kent, who is also the managing director of The Good Care Group and chair on the Board of the United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA), warned that due to care homes being in lockdown, many patients that were set to move or be discharged to a home are unable to do so, meaning they must remain in hospital, taking up much-needed beds and increasing their risk of infection.
She argued that live-in care is a “safe and immediate solution” to this challenge, but that the sector needs thousands more care workers to cope with demand.
“The Department of Health is calling for hospital beds to be freed up. However, with care homes protecting their residents by enforcing lockdown, many elderly and vulnerable people needing further support are now unable to be discharged to a care home, meaning that many are having to prolong their stay in hospital occupying valuable hospital beds and increasing their risk of infection,” she said.
“Live-in care is a safe and immediate solution to get people out of hospital and back into their own homes, freeing up hospital beds for those who need them. In order to do this, we need 21,000 carers to join the social care sector and ensure care can be provided to those returning to their own homes. We will have trained carers in homes within 14 days of applying so the sooner we can get the message out there and applications in, the sooner we can relieve some of the current strain on the NHS.”
Kent echoes the words of Peter Seldon, CEO of Consultus Care, who wrote in a column before lockdown measures were put in place that a tailored live-in care package enables elderly patients to be discharged sooner into their own homes, where they can recover in familiar surroundings and are “far less likely” to be readmitted.
The Live-in Care Hub is a not-for-profit organisation representing 21 live-in care providers across the country, including the Good Care Group, Consultus Care and Ashridge Home Care.