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An update on COVID-19 to residents and families

In this week’s update to residents and families, I wanted to update you on the situation in Sheffield and the wider country.

COVID-19 continues to affect care homes very deeply. We are an extension of the NHS and provide vital community care. But we don’t get the recognition for the tireless work of our staff.

The latest figures for our own sites show that the number of our residents who have sadly died after testing positive for COVID-19 remains at 18 across our sites. We continue to grieve for those residents we have lost and our deepest sympathies go out to their loved ones at this extremely distressing time.

We have had seven new cases of COVID-19 across our sites and we continue to do everything we can to prevent the transmission of the disease. We work closely with Public Health England and infection control teams at the hospital to ensure we operate to the highest standards.

SCC will increase costs paid to care homes in the city by just 5% to meet the COVID-19 response, with a further assurance to meet additional costs incurred.

Sadly, this promised increase still falls way short of what’s needed.

Care England has called for a 15% uplift in fees to help cover the costs and the initial assessment of our own budgets would support that this is the bare minimum needed.

The Council has received GBP36m from the government to support the COVID-19 response and the Sheffield Care Association has calculated that the latest offer from the Council is worth just GBP1.16m to the city’s care homes over three months.

The Secretary of State for Communities wrote to council leaders on 30 April 2020 instructing local authorities to pass on a 10% uplift. However, Sheffield City Council briefed the media on 28 April 2020 that they face a GBP34.5m funding shortfall during the COVID-19 crisis.

“We continue to work blind. The assurances the Council have given that they will meet ‘additional costs’ just isn’t good enough, especially when they freely admit that they are facing a financial black hole of their own.

The situation is critical, we need a guaranteed 15% uplift in funding in the short term and certainty of income for the mid-term or many care homes in the city will face closure.

A full review of funding for our sector has been long overdue and is needed more than ever now. Our sector has supported the most vulnerable during this pandemic it is tragic that providers are now concerned over the viability of our services for the future.

You can find out more about this campaign by keeping an eye on our website for the latest news.

Finally, just a reminder that to help families get a sense of what’s going on, we’ve increased the number of posts on our Facebook page to give you a glimpse of how we are trying to support our residents and make their lives as comfortable as possible.

We have worked with local schools to ask them to send in art and letters to our residents and we will continue to find new ways of trying to keep residents entertained. We’ve uncovered some hidden talents among our staff and we will be trying to use these as much as possible while visitors are still sadly not allowed on site.

Palms Row will provide all of the necessary support to make sure that ongoing care for residents continues in the same high standards that we have provided for many years, but we will also continue to put pressure on those who make the decisions not to forget about care homes during this crisis.

Nicola Richards,


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