Liverpool City Region COVID-19 Updates - 2020-07-07

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Liverpool City Region COVID-19 Updates
... & Important Emergency Notices ...

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This page last updated on 7 July 2020

Visiting Care Homes

CARE England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult Social Care, has expressed immense frustration over the delay in Visitor Guidance. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:- "We are at a loss to know why the Department of Health and Social Care is incapable of making swift decisions at a time of crisis. As the country unlocks, care providers are in the dark as to what is permissible in terms of visitors to their residents, or indeed residents leaving their homes on visits. This should have been a priority for the DHSC given that Care Homes are central to fighting this dreadful pandemic."

Providers are very aware of the role that friends and family play in supporting their loved ones. The primary concern of providers has, and will continue to be, the health and well being of all the individuals they support and their staff. With that in mind it is important that we find ways of supporting increased contact with families and friends, but that this is approached in a way that is safe, sensible and does not undo all of the efforts of so many care providers to date.

The starting point for decision making must be safety, transparency and a human rights based approach. As the rest of the nation unlocks it is not right to keep people with care and support needs locked down indefinitely. Any move towards increased liberty of movement must be accompanied by ongoing person centred risk assessments and with due regard to the safety of other service users and staff.

Martin Green continues:- "In the absence of Government guidance, on 10 June 2020, Care England published its own statement on visitation for learning disability providers. We supported a separate CPA document for providers for older people too. However with new changes to shielding and the wider lifting of lockdown we now need a national framework led by government to support the complex steps to normality for Care Home residents."

Support for the Care Home Sector

CARE England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult Social Care, has reasserted its calls for the long term financial sustainability of the adult Social Care sector. Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, says:- "Adult Social Care has been through a torrid time. Before the pandemic hit the long term sustainability of the sector was in question. With additional human and financial costs incurred it is high time that the sector was guaranteed the support, recognition and understanding that it needs and deserves."

The Chancellor is expected to outline a package of support for the business sector tomorrow and as a vital component of the economy, Care Homes are hoping to be resourced accordingly. There are many ways in which the pressure on the sector can be alleviated for example national insurance holidays, business support measures, sufficient funding for the sector and tax support. Care England welcomed the Chancellor's announcement last week to extend a VAT holiday on PPE which is one really helpful measure to support the front line. During the course of the pandemic Care England has asked for further support including extending statutory sick pay support to companies employing over 250 people and reviewing the current VAT regime for nursing and residential care to change their status from exempted from VAT to zero rated.

Martin Green continues:- "In many areas care providers have not felt assisted. COVID-19 relief funds have been delivered through the failed mechanism of local authorities which has been an obstacle to effective delivery and has not reached the front line."

LGA responds to the latest ONS figures on Coronavirus deaths

RESPONDING to the latest ONS figures on Coronavirus deaths, which show that deaths involving COVID-19 as a percentage of all deaths in care homes decreased to 10.5% in the week to 26 June 2020, compared with 12.9% in the previous week, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Associationís Community Wellbeing Board, said:- "Staff working in Care Homes and those providing care in peopleís own homes have done an incredible job, in extremely challenging circumstances, to protect those they care for throughout this crisis. Social care services have been on the frontline from the start and have strived to do what they can, despite at times lacking enough PPE, and testing of residents and staff in Care Homes only now becoming more routine. While the number of deaths attributable to Coronavirus in care homes continues to fall, it is still concerning that the number of people dying at home is higher than the five-year average. This could suggest that some are choosing not to go to Hospital or receive help elsewhere. Every life lost to this disease is a tragedy and our thoughts go out to all those who have lost family members and friends during this difficult period. Councils continue to do all they can to support people receiving care, whether at home or in other care settings. The Government needs to ensure that Councils and Social Care services have all the resources they need for the weeks and months ahead. The LGA is working closely with the new National COVID-19 Social Care Support Taskforce to tackle these issues and help guide social care through this current crisis and beyond."

LGA Respond to latest ONS figures on adult smoking habits

RESPONDING to latest ONS figures on adult smoking habits, which show that the proportion of the population in England who are current smokers has fallen to 13.9% in 2019, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association's Community Wellbeing Board, said:- "Council public health teams work hard to help reduce smoking rates in their areas, alongside local charities and community groups, and it is testament to their efforts that smoking rates continue to fall. Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death. Reducing smoking rates among the remaining 5.7 million smokers in England is the single biggest thing we can do to improve the nationís health, as it will reduce cardiovascular disease, respiratory conditions and cancer, meaning people can live longer in better health. Greater help is needed for those most in need of support, including routine and manual workers, pregnant women or people with mental health conditions. Every pound invested by government in council-run services such as public health helps to relieve pressure on other services like the NHS, criminal justice and welfare. Councils can help the Government to achieve its ambition of eliminating smoking in England by 2030, through their tobacco control and other public health and support services, but need certainty over their long term funding."

Small business owners urged to "recoup what they are owed"

THE boss of a Warrington Challenger Bank is urging business owners to:- "recoup what they are owed" with the help of a free Government appointed support service. Gary Wilkinson, CEO and Co-Founder of Redwood Bank, is recommending small business owners tackle late payment issues with help from the Small Business Commissioner (SBC). The SBC is an independent public body which was launched by the Government in December 2017 to tackle late payment and unfavourable payment practices in the UK.

As a result of the late payment culture that exists between businesses, a 3rd of payments to small businesses are late, with the average value of each payment amounting to ₤6,142.  Gary Wilkinson said:- "Government statistics show that 20% of small businesses have run into cash flow problems due to late payments. If they were paid on time, this could boost the economy by an estimated ₤2.5 billion annually. Many businesses owners have been forced to close their doors and adhere to the Government guidelines in place to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. As a result, revenue has been cut dramatically, but the need to pay bills still remains. There has never been a more pertinent time for small and medium sized businesses to recoup what they are owed."

The Commissioner urges small businesses affected by late or unfair payment practices to use the SBC's complaint investigation service and promises to take action to tackle the worst examples of supply chain bullying. Gary added:- "It is vital that small and medium business owners access the free help available to them."

Complaints are considered from small businesses with fewer than 50 staff who are having payment issues with larger businesses that have more than 50 employees. The independent Government appointed service is impartial and free to use on a non-risk basis. It provides general advice and information about resolving disputes and dealing with unpaid invoices as well as signposting businesses to dispute resolution services. It is also able to check contracts and ensure invoices are correct. Those seeking help can visit:- SmallBusinessCommissioner.Gov.UK, email or call:- 01216957770. The phone lines are open Monday to Thursday, between 9am to 5pm and Fridays, from 9am to 4:30pm.

Total UK cases COVID-19 cases - update for Liverpool City Region and surroundings

THE latest number of UK Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections that have been laboratory confirmed, within the UK, has risen by 581 cases and the total number now stand at 286,349, that includes tests carried out by commercial partners which are not included in the 4 National totals.

Daily number of COVID-19 associated UK fatalities added to the total, was sadly reported to be 155 according to the Department of Health. The total number of deaths of people who have had a positive test result confirmed by a Public Health or NHS laboratory is 44,391.

In England, there are a total of 246,386 confirmed cases. North West - total of 42,871 confirmed cases. The number of laboratory confirmed cases within the following Local Authorities, in and around the Liverpool City Region are as follows:-

► Liverpool, 2,446 confirmed cases.

► Sefton, 1,504 confirmed cases.

► Wirral, 2,020 confirmed cases.

► St. Helens, 1,193 confirmed cases

► Halton, 685 confirmed cases.

► Blackpool, 1,019 confirmed cases.

► Blackburn with Darwen, 1,006 confirmed cases.

► Bolton, 1,817 confirmed cases.

► Bury, 1,277 confirmed cases.

► Cheshire West and Chester, 1,951 confirmed cases.

► Cheshire East, 2,190 confirmed cases.

► Lancashire, 6,647 confirmed cases.

► Manchester, 2,895 confirmed cases.

► Oldham, 1,845 confirmed cases.

► Rochdale, 1,583 confirmed cases.

► Stockport, 1,626 confirmed cases.

► Tameside, 1,516 confirmed cases.

► Trafford, 1,246 confirmed cases.

► Wigan, 2,116 confirmed cases..

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