Alzheimer's Society responds to the Government’s new social care plan

The response comes after Matt Hancock's announcement that more testing will be provided in care homes.

Last week Alzheimer's Society wrote to Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to call for the following immediate steps as part of a dedicated national strategy to support care home residents and their families through the pandemic:

  • PPE equipment must be readily available to care homes. Without it, residents’ lives are at risk.
  • Care home staff and people being discharged from hospital into care homes should be given priority testing for the virus, alongside critical NHS staff.
  • Working with technology companies, the Government should support care homes to put in place arrangements to ensure continued contact between residents and their loved ones.
  • The impact of the virus on care homes should be measured and published.

In response to the Government’s announcement today of their new coronavirus social care plan, Kate Lee, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said:

'It’s positive to see the Government has made promises to protect people with dementia in care homes, after we’ve raised serious concerns from families up and down the country who have been fearing for their loved ones’ lives. Personal protective equipment and testing are vital to keep people safe - what's needed now is a clear plan for how it will get to the care homes who’ve been crying out for help.

'We’re pleased to see our call for relatives to see their loved ones with dementia at end of life has been answered, the ‘right to say goodbye’ will ensure humanity and dignity for so many families at a terrible time.

What’s missing from the Government’s plan is a commitment to accurately record and publish Coronavirus deaths in care homes on a daily basis. Without this we can’t know the scale of the crisis we’re dealing with, and whether PPE and testing are working. This urgently needs to be provided to prevent more of our loved ones dying needlessly.

'It’s great that the Government are listening to organisations like Alzheimer’s Society, who are working on the ground to support thousands of people with dementia in their own homes and in care settings.'