Care leaders share lessons learnt from COVID-19 crisis

Vic Rayner

Care leaders have shared their views on lessons learnt and what should be done differently in the event of a second wave of COVID-19.

A LaingBuisson webinar held in partnership with law firm Bevan Brittan yesterday focused on rights and regulation in a post COVID-19 world.

CQC Director of Engagement, Chris Day, said: “The lack of information sharing about what is going on crucially undermines the ability to have a good local system response.

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Day highlighted how the CQC had created a domiciliary care tracker during the crisis because there was not enough information being shared about how care workers were being able to share PPE and access testing to ensure they had the support they needed.

“Without that transparency there is no learning and we have a role in making that work,” he explained.

“The ability of local leaders and local providers to come together to share money and to have common purpose around their intent is defining how well local areas are able to respond to this.

“Increasingly it matter more that we can look at how local systems are working.”

Vic Rayner (pictured), executive chairman of the National Care Forum, said there had been an urgent need for a “real time and future focus” during the pandemic around data and information on what was happening in services.

She explained how it wasn’t until “almost six weeks into the pandemic” that more current data was published on how many people were dying in care settings, adding the full impact on people with learning disabilities was not shared until the last week.

The NCF head said the CQC could have taken action on issues to protect people’s rights, such as the issuance of Do Not Resuscitate orders.

“We needed them to act fast and hard when it was clear that systems were letting people down,” Rayner said.

Looking ahead, Rayner said the CQC’s role in “making or breaking organisations” would be “huge”, highlighting the importance of working in a supportive way.

Carlton Sadler, partner at Bevan Brittan, said guidance on PPE had been “belated” and highlighted how more than 25,000 people had been discharged from hospital to care homes between 17 March and 16 April at the height of the crisis.

Also speaking at the conference, Four Seasons CEO Jeremy Richardson said there was a need to use the crisis to simplify the way that the sector is managed.

He said a “single chain of command” was required in the event of another crisis.

While noting the government’s support in the form of £600m for an Infection Control Fund, Richardson said it had “almost snatched defeat from the jaws of victory” in delivering the funding through local authorities.

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Sarah Clarke

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