£3bn social care boost to free hospital beds
The Government has provided almost £3bn to support community services to free up hospital beds as coronavirus victims increase. Around £1.3bn will go to the NHS so that patients can be discharged more quickly, whilst £1.6bn will go to councils to strengthen the support they give to people vulnerable to Covid-19, including the homeless and those needing social care. LGA spokesperson Ian Hudspeth said the money is “crucial to support council social care staff”. But he also warned: “A widespread coronavirus epidemic across the country will have a huge impact on an already stretched adult social care system.” To maximise the impact of the funding, “councils will need to be able to target it towards the pressures in their particular local area, including support to the care provider market”.
Financial Times, Page: 2 The Guardian, Page: 7 The Sun, Page: 6
Police given power to force six-week quarantine
Emergency laws tabled in parliament yesterday include giving police the power to detain and quarantine patients with coronavirus for up to six weeks. The legislation makes it a criminal offence for people to fail to comply, attempt to escape or provide misleading information to officers who stop them. They will face fines of up to £1,000. Immigration officers will also be given more limited powers to detain people of all nationalities and direct them to screening and quarantine.
The Times, Page: 4 The Guardian, Page: 4 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 2
Food deliveries could dry up to care homes and hospitals
Firms that supply care homes and hospitals with food for their kitchens are reportedly in danger of going under as their private sector contracts have dried up as a result of the virtual shutdown of the hospitality industry. The public service contracts that many of the suppliers operate are propped up by the profits they make from supplying private businesses and are viable because overheads are shared. James Bielby, the Chief Executive of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, said: “We need Government to protect the supply chain to the most vulnerable people in our society.”
The Daily Telegraph
Covid-19 to delay Crossrail further
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said it is “inevitable” that the coronavirus outbreak will further delay the opening of Crossrail. He said: “The Crossrail team will do what they can to work remotely where they can, but some of the things you need to be physically there to do”. Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild this week ordered all non-essential work on the new railway line to stop this week.
London transport restriction ‘unenforceable’
Having announced largescale reductions to London Underground timetables and the temporary closure of 40 stations, TFL has admitted that plans to restrict the number of passengers on the capital’s public transport network cannot be enforced. TfL said any attempt to limit use to key workers was unenforceable due to a lack of capacity and the fact there is no single ID card for many key workers, such as supermarket staff.
The Daily Telegraph
Council criticised for proceeding with care home closure talks
Derbyshire County Council has been branded “callous” for refusing to suspend a consultation into plans to close seven of its care homes despite the coronavirus pandemic. Campaign group Save Derbyshire Care Homes has written to council leader Barry Lewis saying the move “displays no understanding of the pressures Derbyshire’s hard working care workers are facing”. Cllr Lewis said an “unintended consequence” of postponing the consultation is some of the homes “could be closed anyway because the electrical safety issues they have are such that we have to address them within a time-limited window”. He added: “We have to carefully consider if postponing the consultation is the right thing to do.”