An Update on the Management of the Covid-19 pandemic within Adult Services

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The Adult Services Performance Panel met in January to receive an update on Management of Covid-19 pandemic and Performance Monitoring.

Councillor Mark Child, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Community Health Services attended the meeting and expressed how fantastic staff, colleagues and other organisations have been over the last two years.

The Panel heard that the effects of omicron had been a real problem, but that Health and Social Care had done as much contingency planning as they could to prepare for the predicted peak.

The Panel was informed that the consequence of catching Covid-19 is currently far less, even if you had to go into hospital. The main issue for the Directorate has been the number of staff having Covid or being a close contact and having to isolate.

The Panel heard that a small number of staff in care homes are testing positive, but there has not been a significant jump in infections in residents and this suggests that learning around protective measures has worked.

Pressures on domiciliary care due to reduced staff numbers was also discussed. The Panel heard that in Swansea there is a backlog of approximately 40 individuals in hospital as the Service is unable to arrange a domiciliary care offer for them. However, there is hope that potential increased capacity within in-house domiciliary care services will help in the movement of these 40 individuals out of hospital.

Panel Members sought clarity on the number of people awaiting discharge from hospital, whether it was 40 in total or 40 waiting for a particular package. It was confirmed that approximately 280 individuals are currently deemed medically fit for discharge. Approximately 140 of these could be supported out of hospital beds if the Authority‚Äôs community services were organised. However only 80 of these have been referred, which suggests processes are not as efficient as they should be.  And of these 80, 40 are awaiting domiciliary care.

Cllr Child emphasised that altogether there are around 200 individuals waiting for a domiciliary care package and this is significantly more than he would like to see.

The Panel heard that the Directorate is also trying to add further cover to the in-house residential offer and, if enough health and care staff can be found, there is a possibility of designating one in-house home to provide step-down provision, which may enable EMI individuals awaiting provision to leave hospital.

Panel Members were informed of concern about individuals in the community who have the highest level of need and that the Directorate needs to plan for an extreme situation of not having enough staff and might designate an in-house home as a place these individuals could move into, but this would require staffing by residential health care staff.

The Panel also queried if there are any staff shortages within Adult Services and heard that there are issues, mainly in domiciliary care resilience, particularly for externally commissioned providers. The Directorate will use a two-pronged approach going forward, where external providers will be supported to recruit more but also look to increase the in-house offer.

Panel Members emphasised how grateful they are to all staff and stated how very fortunate we are in Swansea.

To view all details that were discussed at this meeting, please click here.

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