Why Alzheimer's Society is campaigning for daily coronavirus data from care homes
The worldwide impact of coronavirus has been devastating. Lessons must be learned, and the vulnerability of people living in residential care homes needs to be recognised by Government.
What Government has done so far
It is a positive step that the Government has acknowledged the need for a dedicated national strategy to support social care during the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).
However, Government didn’t implement improved measures for personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing without our pressure.
Organisations like Alzheimer’s Society came together and demanded protection for the people who rely on social care and the workforce that provides it. In our calls to the Government on 16 April, we also highlighted that a strategy will only be effective with accurate data.
Whilst Government has recognised the need for more frequent data, a commitment to provide daily data from care homes has not been implemented within the new strategy, and so our campaigning to Government will go on.
Why is receiving daily data from care homes so important?
Without accurate and frequent data, we will face more challenges as a country to truly understand and address the scale of the problem.
Most worryingly, it will be harder for us to ensure that care home residents living with dementia receive the support they deserve during this pandemic.
What will this data achieve?
Daily data from care homes will:
- allow care providers to understand the scale of the pandemic and put the most effective measures in place, with adequate consideration given to complex nature of dementia.
- give support services accurate and up to date information, allowing them to respond more quickly and save as many lives as possible.
- give us a better picture of how the virus is affecting the different areas of the country, allowing us to identify what steps are working well and what aren’t working quite so well
- ensure Government acknowledges that we are losing more people to the virus than we should and that people reliant on social care cannot continue to be considered less important.
We have seen the devastating impact of coronavirus across the world, and the unnecessary losses because of little consideration for people who rely on social care and their families.
We must learn from these mistakes and recognise the vulnerability of those living in care homes to the pandemic. Faster and more efficient methods of recording data will allow us to do this.
What difference will having this data make to people affected by dementia?
With 70 per cent of care home residents living with some form of dementia, we are determined to ensure they receive adequate protection during this crisis.
Daily data will further demonstrate that social care cannot continue to be at the bottom of the pile.
Care home residents are real people, not just numbers.
They are parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents and friends. They have their own likes and dislikes, passions, achievements and annoyances. Everything that can be done to protect them, should be done. And, if they do pass, then we must acknowledge their passing, not disregard it
What can you do to help?
We will not stop campaigning to prevent the devastating impact the virus could have on the social care sector, and the people living with dementia who rely on it.
Write to your MP asking them to back our calls to the Department of Health and Social Care for daily publicised numbers of coronavirus related deaths in the care system so that we can ensure the numbers are as small as they can be.
Help us challenge Government
Your MP can help to back our calls for daily publicised numbers of coronavirus related deaths in the care system.