Care home support package backed by £600 million to help reduce coronavirus infections
A new £600 million Infection Control Fund has been introduced to tackle the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in care homes. The fund, which is ringfenced for social care, will be given to local authorities to ensure care homes can continue to halt the spread of coronavirus by helping them cover the costs of implementing measures to reduce transmission. Councils are being asked to review or put in place a care home support plan by 29 May.
Salford has been allocated £1,935,692 for 1,489 registered care home beds as at May 2020. The funding will be paid in two equal instalments.
New symptoms of coronavirus
The UK Chief Medical Officers have today (18 May) released a statement saying that individuals will need to self-isolate immediately if they develop a new continuous cough or fever or, as of today, anosmia.
Anosmia is the loss of or a change in the normal sense of smell. It can also affect the sense of taste as the two are closely linked.
PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATES
In line with the national picture, Salford continues to see an increase in new cases but by a much smaller percentage. As of Sunday 17 May, 891 people in Salford have tested positive for coronavirus (an increase of 2.89% since last Monday 11 May, 25 extra cases). However the rate of cases per 100,000 population is above the regional average of 323.8, Salford rate is 350.2.
PPE is an on-going priority for the city, there is an acute shortage of goggles due to a product recall. Salford has ordered 3,000 reusable goggles to replace the recalled stock, these are scheduled to be delivered, via Greater Manchester, this week.
Public Health guidance for PPE and safe management has been produced for schools and early years settings based on last week’s issue of national guidance. Salford Public Health have been advising schools regarding the risk assessments for categories of staff and individuals who may be at higher risk of the severe complications from the virus. Further work is taking place among Salford partners to produce a common approach to risk assessments for the workforce and volunteers, and especially for those of BAME background. Work continues to set-up health checks for frontline health and care workers and we intend to issue health check and well-being resources for care homes next week.
Care homes eligible for the national care home testing have registered on the government portal. We are arranging support for care homes to undertake the swabs aiming to reduce the number of Voids/ Inconclusive test results.
We understand the national contact tracing service is going live as of today, Monday 18th May, and an expected 20% of these will come to Greater Manchester for follow-up and to localities for public health advice and outbreak management. The workforce implications are being worked through, additional staffing and resources are needed and funding to set-up safe consistent ‘test and trace’ for the length of time (12-18 months if not longer).
KEY SERVICE UPDATES
A full list of information about council services and access by the public can be found at council services information.
Spirit of Salford network
As of 16 May, the hotline has received just under 8,300 telephone calls, along with nearly 1,200 requests for support from the website. 2,800 food boxes have been delivered.
The council continues to work hard to pay out the £44 million funding received from government to support local Salford businesses. To date, £34.7 million has been claimed by Salford businesses with this figure increasing daily. The current priority is to try to find as many of the circa 1,300 eligible businesses that haven’t yet applied for cash grants to encourage them to submit an application.
The council will continue to work closely with businesses in the city to explore how they can be supported as we move into the next phase of our response and eventual recovery from the pandemic.
Work has taken place to get ready spaces that are reopening such as resuming grounds maintenance and putting appropriate signage in place. Spaces to be reopened include bowling greens, tennis courts and car parks for parks.
The facilities can be opened once we have appropriate signage in place, which makes it clear that social distancing must apply in line with government guidelines. We are also writing to all bowling clubs, reminding them about government guidelines.
Recycling centres open to wider range of materials
From 15 May 2020, the range of materials that can be disposed of at Household Waste Recycling Centres will be increased to residual waste, wood, garden waste and cardboard with 4 skips allocated to 2 cars. This will increase the numbers of cars able to tip at any one time.
Schools and childcare
The majority of maintained schools are open, although the majority of Jewish independent schools have remained closed following the holidays but those we have spoken to are providing a strong remote learning offer via telephone conferencing.
School attendance is increasing slightly over time, last week 2.3% of children attended (3% in primary and 1% in secondary). The percentage of vulnerable children is also increasing slightly, 4% of children with Education Health and Care Plans and 15% of children with social workers, we are encouraging them to attend.
Schools are now reviewing the Department for Education guidance regarding potential re-opening for the 1st June 2020. Salford Children’s Services are continuing to work closely with all our schools as they develop their plans. The safety of both students and school staff is the first priority. I will keep members updated as plans are agreed.
Additional government guidance for primary schools .
Eid is Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th May will be when the Muslim community will be celebrating Eid according to the Mosque.
The community is being instructed by the Mosque to stay inside and celebrate in their own homes. The community have been told not to mix with other households. Although the Mosque will remain closed to users. The call to prayer will be transmitted via radio signal to households.
As part of Ramadan the Muslim community normally donate cash in the Mosque. As this is no longer appropriate the Mosque has opened a one way system in which people can donate in the courtyard 10-12pm 4-6pm.
VCSE SECTOR UPDATES
Disadvantaged groups in GM supported with £100,000
£100,000 has been allocated to support people experiencing extreme disadvantage in Greater Manchester through the coronavirus pandemic. The donation has come from the Lankelly Chase Foundation and will go to disabled people’s organisations and community organisations supporting those at risk of domestic abuse.
The money will support those who are usually overlooked due to poverty, isolation and lack of access to services, with £50,000 being split between 15 disabled people’s organisations and £50,000 split between 11 organisations supporting those at risk of domestic abuse.
Homelessness response fund
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has published information on how charitable homelessness and rough sleeping organisations can apply for funding to support their response to coronavirus.
Homeless Link will be distributing the £6 million of emergency funding on MHCLG’s behalf to facilitate this much needed support to the sector, allowing organisations to focus solely on their mission of supporting vulnerable people. The fund is now open and funding will be allocated by June 2020.
On 12 May the Chancellor announced that the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October. As the UK adjusts the current restrictions, the Government will also need to wind down the economic support measures while people are eased back to work.
Everybody (including critical workers) should continue to avoid public transport wherever possible. If they can, people should choose to cycle, walk or drive, to minimise the number of people with whom they come into close contact. Social distancing guidance on public transport must be followed. Transport operators should follow guidance (12 May) to make their services COVID-19 Secure. Guidance for passengers issued 12 May.
As more people return to work, the Government is now advising that people consider wearing face masks while in shops or on public transport. The public are urged not to buy medical grade masks so they can be saved for frontline health and care workers, but instead make their own face coverings.
Places of Worship Taskforce
Faith leaders and government have agreed to develop a plan to enable the phased and safe reopening of places of worship when the evidence shows it is the right time to do so, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed last week (15 May 2020). This follows the first virtual meeting of the new Places of Worship Taskforce which includes leaders and representatives from all the major faiths.
This week we have seen teams of volunteers working hard to deliver personal protection equipment (PPE) to care settings, schools and nurseries across the city. This is a vital step in our ongoing response to the virus and I would like to thank everyone who has been involved so far. It is a testament to the strength of the Spirit of Salford that colleagues from across the organisation have come together to maintain our essential services and support the residents of Salford.
Working to support the city’s homeless
I would like to take a moment to recognise the work being undertaken by our housing options and reviewing officers to support people in the city who find themselves homeless. The team has continued to provide homeless assessments virtually, with same day homelessness assessments and same day access to emergency accommodation (via a referral to the supported tenancies service) being made available to all those who need it.
The team has adapted to delivering this service for very vulnerable people in a new and different way from a home working environment with the whole team working flexibly to do so. Thank you for everything you are doing to support those residents at risk of becoming homeless at such a difficult time.
Ongoing support for our youngest residents
The area special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCOs) have put together some really exciting little resource packs that have been delivered to some of our families this week. There are some resources that families can use and play with together along with some ideas of what they can do with them. This is a great initiative and I’m sure it brought a smile to many families.
Resource packs put together by our area SENCOs