‘Small’ COVID-19 outbreak in Bermondsey care home ‘under control’

Katherine Johnston (20 January, 2021)

The four residents who contracted the virus are all recovering

35678Image: Tower Bridge care home (c) Google Map

Tower Bridge Care Home says a ‘small’ COVID-19 outbreak is under control after all infected residents stage a recovery.

Four residents  contracted COVID-19 in the home during the second wave of the virus, with each of them now recovered and having completed their fourteen-day isolation period. Four staff members are currently self-isolating.

HC-One, which runs the home, said those affected were all from the same unit and thanks to infection control measures were effectively isolated, stopping the spread.

A Tower Bridge Care Home spokesperson said:  “We took all steps to minimise the spread of the virus including caring for Residents in their rooms, continuing to restrict staff movement and focusing on high standards of infection control which kept the outbreak to one unit of the home.

“We are monitoring the situation closely and are working with our local health and care partners to respond to the outbreak.”

 

Government u-turn over care home insurance

The government has agreed to cover care homes’ insurance after providers refused to take COVID-19 patients from overstretched hospitals over the risk of being sued.

HC-One’s non-executive director has gone on record saying that the provider, which is the UK’s largest and runs Tower Bridge Care home, had been unable to find an insurer since November to cover the risks of the pandemic.

He said the risks of taking part in the ‘designated places scheme’ – where COVID-19 patients are sent to care homes to free up space on wards – is too high.

On Tuesday, after a u-turn, the government said it would step in and cover the costs after months of lobbying from the care sector. The cover is expected to last until March but will be reviewed next month.

Sir David told another publication last week: “You’ve got solicitors’ firms advertising, taking cases up against care companies.

“So, this isn’t a theoretical risk that there may be proceedings, it’s an actual risk, and therefore we need cover.

“The NHS wouldn’t operate without similar liability cover and that’s what we need to see, and I think governments have a role to play working with the insurance industry to work to find a solution.”

The government support comes amid rising fears that care homes are bearing the brunt of the current wave of the mutated virus, which is much more transmissible.

Care home deaths across the country have nearly doubled in the last week, and are now believed to account for around a third of all deaths from the virus since March 2020.

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