MPs to hear evidence on Covid-19 preparations in social care

Professor Martin Green, Care England chief executive

Professor Martin Green will give evidence to MPs next week on the impact coronavirus is likely to have on the social care sector.

The Health and Social Care Committee will hear from the Care England chief executive alongside representatives from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Local Government Association and Care and Support Alliance.

The committee will listen to evidence on Tuesday on the preparedness for the epidemic in care homes and care services. MPs will consider measures being taken, and required, to ensure the safety, capacity and effectiveness of staff.

Prof Green told CM: ‘We have been absolutely clear from the outset that care homes simply cannot and will not be able to help the NHS clear their beds unless and until testing is in place.

‘Umpteen negotiations have taken place with senior officials and ministers with some giving false promise whilst others have been rolling up their sleeves and getting to grips with the situation.’

On Friday (20 March), Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said protective personal equipment was being rushed out to social care providers and NHS staff due to shortages concerns.

The government also said frontline social care staff, including volunteers, would be listed as ‘critical’ key workers whose children can still go to school if they cannot be looked after at home.

The list also includes doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers and those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

As of 4pm on Friday, there were 3,269 positive Covid-19 cases in the UK. The total number of deaths stood at 177. There have been 167 in England, six in Scotland, three in Wales and one in Northern Ireland.