Joint statement by CQC & MHS published

In the face of recent criticism of its response to COVID-19, the CQC has issued a joint statement with the Deputy Chief Inspector for Mental Health Services (MHS) setting out their ongoing approach to the pandemic.

The full statement can be read here.

From 6 October, the CQC and MHS will commence a roll out of a new ‘transitional regulatory approach’ (TRA). The first areas to experience this will be adult social care and dental services.

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Charity launches legal challenge to restrictions on care home visits

A dementia charity is seeking a judicial review of visiting restrictions set out in the government guidance in care homes.  Visiting restrictions were put in place earlier this year at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic following official guidance to try and limit the spread of the virus amongst vulnerable residents.  However John’s Campaign, which fights for people with dementia to be supported by their family carers, says that in person visits by family members are crucial for these residents. 

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How many deaths in care have there actually been?

It is no secret that the spread of COVID-19 within the care sector has been the subject of significant media attention and cause for concern amongst those involved with care. But how hard can it be to answer the question: ‘How many deaths on care has there actually been?’ The answer is: it’s all in the detail. Continue reading “How many deaths in care have there actually been?”

“We are facing a secondary pandemic of neurological disease.”

“We are facing a secondary pandemic of neurological disease.”
Robert Stevens Associate Professor of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine, US.

With medical science struggling to keep up with coronavirus and its consequences, it will be several years at least before more conclusive studies as to the long term impacts of the pandemic can be produced. The law lags even further behind.

Whilst COVID-19 has largely been considered to be a respiratory disease, more than 300 studies from around the world report a significant number of COVID-19 patients are displaying neurological abnormalities ranging from mild symptoms, such as headaches and loss of smell, to more severe variants commonly associated with mild to moderate brain injury.

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COVID-19 and Scottish care homes: an update

On Monday 13 July 2020 Scottish Government reported that no COVID-19 (C-19) deaths had been registered in Scotland on any of the five preceding days. However – on the same day – Scottish Government also reported that public health teams were investigating after seven new cases of coronavirus – picked up by routine testing – had been traced to a single care home in the greater Glasgow area. All seven people who tested positive were asymptomatic at the point of testing.

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Frontline health & care staff £60,000 payments

The Department of Health issued a press release confirming that families of health and care workers on the frontline in England will benefit from a new life assurance scheme during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Details of the scheme, which were first published on 27 April, are now beginning to become clearer.

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Partially remote hearings for inquests – New Chief Coroner Guidance

On 11 June 2020, the Chief Coroner published his Guidance No 38, ‘Remote Participation in Coronial Proceedings via Video and Audio Broadcast’.  This guidance builds upon Guidance No 35 dealing with hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic which we have commented on in previous blogs.

Since the lockdown began most inquests have been postponed, with coroners opening inquests and holding documentary inquests where no witnesses are called to give evidence.

The current pandemic has seen the  increase in use of partially remote hearings where the court is satisfied that it is just to do so.

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CQC publishes data on COVID-19 deaths & persons with a learning disability

In the past few months, one of the dominant news stories has been that of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the social care sector.  This has mostly focused upon the issues surrounding elderly care.

However, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has this week published an analysis regarding deaths of persons with a learning disability and/or autism.  The analysis is based upon notifications from providers registered with the CQC where the death certificate indicates the deceased had a learning disability.  This shows in the period 10 April to 15 May there was a 134% increase in deaths in comparison to the same period in 2019.

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Protecting the vulnerable in the midst of COVID-19

Our recent blogs have consistently focused on this developing saga as COVID-19 continues and as we as a nation compare ourselves to our counterparts, we are increasingly coming up short.  There is a stark message coming through that our most vulnerable have been forgotten: the elderly in care homes, the detained in mental health units and those with learning disabilities.

Continue reading “Protecting the vulnerable in the midst of COVID-19”