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  1. Published on: 16/11/2020 07:27 AMReported by: rogerblaxall
    The elderly and vulnerable will once again be targeted by the Government to clear hospital beds thiswinter due to the current COVID 19 crisis, putting them at risk according to Cllr John Fillis, Labour's deputy leader in Lancashire.

    Yesterday, he told QLocal: "We saw how the government tragically moved the elderly from their hospital beds to care homeswithout any testing in the first COVID wave.

    "It will now be forcing the elderly andvulnerable to go home, knowing that the care they require in the community may be delayed or notavailable when they need it most."

    The County Council's 'Adult Social Care Winter Plan 2020/21' sets out a nationally mandateddischarge process that will see patients automatically discharged the same day as it's decided theyno longer need treatment in a hospital.

    The patients discharge assessment that provided a supportpackage within the community, as part of their rehabilitation, will not be carried out until they arehome.

    This means they may not be provide with the right community service for them, at the righttime. It may take up to three days before this much needed assessment can be carried out andwithout a time frame as to how long it will take for the correct support to be provided.

    The report goes on to identify that local bed modelling shows an anticipated significant bed deficit tomeet the demands of winter and COVID-19, and winter planning needs to provide mitigation for this.

    The recruitment and retention of staff both for new or expanded services, along with the resilienceand wellbeing of staff which could further impact on already fragile services has yet to be resolved.

    Issues such as vacancies, absences and high turnover not only lead to a higher risk of infectiontransmission, but also mean that capacity is at greater risk of being insufficient to respond to theneeds during the height of the winter.

    Added Fillis: "The Conservative administration should be standing upto this government and demanding fully funded support packages from the minute these elderly andvulnerable people leave hospital.

    "The County's Conservative administration are looking to muddlethrough this chaotic and damaging discharge process that will put lives at risk.

    "This crisis has been made worse by the cuts in hospital beds and staffing by the Conservatives overthe last 10 years.

    "Despite the Conservative Government promises there is also a funding shortfall inwhat's required to deliver the additional capacity."
     

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