Good morning. Please find today’s update below. I am pleased to see this morning’s announcement regarding expanding tests for key workers, in particular for the care sector. There is still a lot to be seen about how this will work in practice and a lot more to be developed regarding contact tracing. Tests available is not the same as tests completed and whilst I will do my part to ensure that our care homes understand how and where they can get tests done, a lot more must be done to ensure that tests are completes efficiently and quickly.
Testing has now been opened up to the over 65s and for staff and patients in care homes. This is something we have been pushing for for some time. Testing can be sent out or done at the Leeds Temple Green site.
Tests are available for:
all essential workers including NHS and social care workers with symptoms (see the full list of essential workers)
anyone over 65 with symptoms
anyone with symptoms whose work cannot be done from home (for example, construction workers, shop workers, emergency plumbers and delivery drivers)
They will also test anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus that lives with those identified above.
In addition, they are also testing:
social care workers and residents in care homes (with or without symptoms) both to investigate outbreaks and, following successful pilots, as part of a rolling programme to test all care homes
NHS workers and patients without symptoms where there is a clinical need, in line with NHS England guidance
This means anyone in one of these groups can find out whether they have the virus. Testing is most effective within 3 days of symptoms developing.
I will be in touch with our care homes again today to pass on this information as well as to update them as to where we have got to regarding PPE.
Safer Communities Fund
We’ve been made aware by the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office that they currently have an £150,000 extra-ordinary Safer Communities Fund grant running with a specific focus on supporting communities to help deal with the fall out of COVID-19. Community groups can bid for grants of up to £6000 for projects and interventions which target domestic and sexual abuse, child sexual abuse, mental health, fraud and drugs/alcohol services. The money is due to be allocated by the end of May with a view to the projects being delivered over the next 6 months. You can find out more about it on their website.
I am aware that the current circumstances create extra tension for families. As a result of this, there is a heightened risk of domestic violence. Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone. It can take place in any relationship, irrespective of age, race, sexuality, gender identity, socio-economic background or disability. If you are worried that someone may be at risk, there are many ways you can seek support. Please see below for contact details for local and national support services:
Leeds Domestic Violence Service (open to all genders) – 24 hour helpline 0113 2460401. You can also email the team firstname.lastname@example.org or you can access webchat through their website.
More sources of support including national services and resources relating to domestic abuse are available here.
It is vital that social care gets the focus and priority it deserves. Millions of elderly and disabled people and their families depend on these services. Actions will speak louder than words. A growing crisis in social care is being exposed. Alongside today’s announcement on testing, we still need a clear and detailed plan about how – and by when – the Government is going to test more than 1.2 million frontline social care workers. This must include home care staff and Personal Assistants employed through direct payments. People who hospitals discharge into care homes are now going receive tests.The government must spell out how and where those who have tested positive will be isolated. ONS statistics show that the number of deaths in care homes due to Covid-19 was 1,043 up to 10 April. This highlights the terrible toll that coronavirus is having on elderly and disabled people in care homes. Yet these awful figures are only scratching the surface, they are already out of date. The Government must now publish daily figures of Covid-19 deaths outside hospital, including in care homes, so we know the true scale of the problem. This is essential to tackling the spread of the virus. This will ensure social care has the resources it needs.
Top tips to avoid Coronavirus scams from West Yorkshire Trades and Standards.
Don’t click on links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to messages asking for personal or financial details.
Look for websites with https: in the web address, the letter S usually indicates if the website is secure.
Check ID. Contact associations to check ID or membership registrations yourself. Don’t just take the word of the person stood on your doorstep or over the phone.
Be vigilant for strangers offering services at the door that may want to take advantage of you.
If you feel pressured ask the person to leave. Your doorstep, your decision. For more information go to this trading standards website