Care homes Covid-free

Friday September 4th 2020

Midlothian Council

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

There are currently no cases of Covid-19 in any care home in Midlothian, health bosses were told yesterday.

Daily reports from care homes are among a range of measures introduced during the pandemic to ensure an up-to-date picture of the situation.

A meeting of Midlothian Integration Joint Board’s (IJB) audit and risk committee was told that care homes had been added to its Risk Register for the first time as a result of Covid-19.

However, IJB chief officer Morag Barrow told the virtual meeting: “We have no Covid in any of our care homes just now.”

She said council-run and independent care homes were working together to tackle the risk which the virus posed on their residents and staff.

Among measures to oversee the risk are daily reports to the health and social care partnership and weekly visits by the care home support team, as well as weekly testing of staff for the virus.

Covid was also added to the Risk Register for the first time as a significant risk for the IJB, with warnings a second wave could put services at risk of being unable to cope.

The meeting also heard that over the 2019/20 financial year, the IJB had an underspend of £743,000 which was added to its surplus fund.

However, members were warned that the impact of the lockdown and continued pandemic was unknown for the current year.

The annual report from auditors revealed that in April it was estimated that the virus would cost the IJB an additional £5.3million in a mobilisation plan submitted to the Scottish Government but to date it had received only a fraction of it.

The report said: “While the Cabinet Secretary has approved the mobilisation plan in principle, the funding received to date falls short of the estimated impact.

“Initial funding received to date is £1.230 million.

“The IJB has therefore focused on reviewing all expenditure to assess where funding can be repurposed to support the additional costs from this emerging challenge. “

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