Arrangements are in place to ensure that people relying on carers or in care homes, and the staff who look after them, are supported through the winter during the ongoing pandemic.

The City Council’s winter pressures plan is put in place every year in conjunction with health services to identify local needs and make sure services are in place to meet them.

This winter is expected to be significantly more challenging due to the impact of Covid 19. The pandemic has particularly impacted on people with care and support needs, their families and carers and for those who provide care in people’s homes, care homes and within communities. Many of those supported by adult social care are older people or have long term health conditions, making them more vulnerable to Covid 19. Most also have lower incomes which further impacts their ability to manage during the pandemic. With some services temporarily closed, people have had to manage with a reduced level of support, affecting their mental and physical wellbeing.

Portfolio Holder for Adult Care, Cllr Adele Williams, said: “The council’s support to care providers has been vital during the pandemic. The winter plan reflects the strength of the support which the council has been providing along with NHS partners to ensure that our care homes and other care providers are well-equipped so that people can continue to receive safe care which meets their needs.

“This plan gives them reassurance that we will continue to provide safe and responsive services throughout winter, as well as ensuring our social care workforce is supported and able to work safely as they provide the essential care services citizens rely on.”

The plan, approved by the council’s Executive Board earlier this week, includes actions to:

  • Control local Covid outbreaks in care homes and similar settings
  • Promote recruitment of staff into the care sector
  • Access appropriate levels of PPE stock
  • Ensure testing is carried out in care settings
  • Encourage eligible staff and people who receive care to get a free flu vaccine
  • Ensure care packages are in place for those discharged from hospital
  • Assess whether visiting care homes is appropriate and impose visiting restrictions if necessary
  • Signpost carers to the support that’s available to them if they need help.