Chi backs call for a National Chief Care Officer
Chi Onwurah MP for Newcastle Central is backing demands for the government to create a National ‘Chief Care Officer’ position. She believes this is urgently needed to bring about a way forward to tackle the devastating impact of Covid-19 on care homes, which has been and remains desperately worrying for residents, their families, and staff.
Ms Onwurah said:
“ I want the government to establish a Chief Care Officer position at the National level, to sit alongside the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Nursing Officer. This would provide the national leadership, focus and attention social care deserves throughout this pandemic and beyond”.
“ A new intermediate care strategy is urgently needed for people being discharged from hospital who test positive for Covid-19, and to support struggling care homes.
“ Across social care the government must provide whatever resources it takes to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chi sees this as a way to effective way to tackle the local as well as national major concerns about Covid-19 deaths and infections in care homes, including the issues at Kenton Hall and Kenton Manor Care Homes.
She had been alerted to worries in these and other care homes by staff, residents and relatives as well as some managements about the lack of PPE and testing in particular. Chi followed up these issues by contacting each care home in the constituency to understand their individual situations and requirements.
So as well as regularly emailing the Health Minister on particular issues Chi wrote to the Health Minister in mid April with 10 questions she felt urgently needed to be addressed. She followed this up with a letter to the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care in late April.
Ms Onwurah concluded:
“ This pandemic is sadly not at an end and others are likely to follow.
“Whilst I have continued to take up concerns about care homes locally and nationally and despite some assurances and progress, I believe care homes in particular and social care in general need more support and guidance which a National Chief Care Officer and their staff could provide.
Notes for Editors:
1) Chi wrote to the Minister for Care with 10 questions on 15 April
2) Chi wrote on 28 April to the Health Secretary of state for Health & Social Care with 7 questions about Coronavirus and Kenton Hall