england

Care homes in England to name relatives as key workers to allow visits

Relatives of care home residents in England are to be designated as key workers so they can be tested regularly for Covid-19 and continue to visit loved ones.



Photograph: Robin Weaver/Alamy


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Robin Weaver/Alamy

The plans, initially a pilot project, with no details about how they would be rolled out, were announced to MPs on Tuesday by the care minister, Helen Whately. They are a win for families and charities that have been calling for months for relatives to be given the same key worker status as staff.

Along with testing, the single designated relative would be trained in the use of PPE, she said, although she was unable to give a date for when the pilot would begin.

Organisations including Dementia UK and the Alzheimer’s Society have been calling for such a move, arguing in a letter to the government in July that the care given by family members was essential to dementia patients’ wellbeing. Social distancing restrictions had contributed to a “hidden catastrophe” in care homes, which had been closed to non-essential visitors since March, they said.

Whately has been challenged at the science and technology committee and health and social care committee over mistakes and mishandling that led to a huge Covid-19 death toll in care homes this year.

Jeremy Hunt, the former Conservative health minister who chaired the sitting, put it to her that care homes should have been banned from taking transfers from hospitals where tests were unavailable, or if it had not been possible to quarantine the person, as was the case in Germany.

“I know it’s very easy to say things with hindsight, but looking back we should have done that here, shouldn’t we?” he asked.

She replied that this would not happen now, and that the Department for Health had

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Care homes in England fear new Covid-19 cases as 90% of test results delayed

Nearly nine out of 10 Covid-19 tests taken under the system used by care homes in England were returned after the government’s 48-hour target in September, official figures reveal.



a man and a woman sitting in a room: Photograph: Lindsey Parnaby/AFP via Getty Images


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Lindsey Parnaby/AFP via Getty Images

The performance of the NHS test-and-trace system has sparked warnings from care managers that continued delays will increase the risk of infection among their vulnerable residents.

At the end of the first month in which tests were routinely provided to care home staff and residents, 87% of those carried out at satellite testing centres, predominantly used by care homes, were returned after more than two days. Over half took more than three days to come back.

Related: Health officials fear de-prioritising of Covid testing in care homes in England

Ministers had promised weekly testing in care homes in the summer, but it only began comprehensively in September. The health minister James Bethelltold parliament 48 hours was the target for getting results back.

Care workers are now being tested weekly and residents monthly, but managers are concerned that delays of over a week in some cases in receiving results mean asymptomatic staff could be spreading infection.

Recorded infections in care homes have been falling slightly, according to Public Health England figures, but there are fears that in areas of rising community infection, such as the north of England, once the virus gets into homes there are likely to be increases in cases.

Mark Adams, the chief executive of Community Integrated Care, a national charity that is one of the biggest care providers in Liverpool, said it currently ttook three and a half days on average to get results. Only one in five weekly staff tests were coming back with the government’s 48-hour target.

There have only been a handful of positive

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin: From non-league loan to England call-up

I never stopped believing – Calvert-Lewin on England call-up

No-one has scored more Premier League headers than Dominic Calvert-Lewin since the start of last season, but his leap to prominence is no surprise to the man who signed him for Everton.

Former Toffees defender and now academy director David Unsworth says he is still “amazed” that he managed to buy the forward from Sheffield United for a “cheeky” bid of a reported £1.5m in 2016.

He first spotted Calvert-Lewin as a 15-year-old in the gym when he was head of the Blades’ academy, and quickly realised he was “a talent who stuck out”.

“What first caught my eye was his gym work,” Unsworth tells BBC Sport. “We’d be there in the evenings and his power from a standing jump was the best I’ve ever seen. He was doing a lot of squats, and jumps at an incredible height onto these wooden boxes.

“He had a few growth issues – his legs were growing at a different rate to his body – but that was the first time I saw him and thought ‘wow, there’s an incredible athlete there’.”

Player Top speed (km/h)
Tariq Lamptey (Brighton) 36.6
Kyle Walker (Man City) 36.6
Nathan Tella (Southampton) 35.6
Oliver Burke (Sheff Utd) 35.2
Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham) 35.2
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) 35.1
Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) 35.1
Jamal Lewis (Newcastle) 35.1
Harvey Barnes (Leicester) 35.1
Kenny Tete (Fulham) 35.1

There is far more to Calvert-Lewin than his athleticism, though. He has since developed into “a complete striker”, according to Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti, who has also coached Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid and Filippo Inzaghi at AC Milan.

Calvert-Lewin’s nine goals in all competitions this season have helped Everton make a perfect start to their campaign and they sit top of the Premier League

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Bank of England seeks to increase competition in home loans

LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England (BoE) set out proposals on Wednesday to end unfair advantages some banks have in calculating how much capital to hold for mortgages in a bid to increase competition.

Some bigger banks can use their own internal models for determining the risk weightings and therefore capital levels for home loans they have granted.

Typically this has resulted in lower capital levels than under the so-called standardised approach to risk weightings set out by regulators that many smaller lenders have to use.

The BoE’s banks supervision arm, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), said it wanted to reduce risks that stem from “inappropriately” low risk weightings that can be thrown up by in-house models.

“For those firms whose risk weights may increase as a result of these proposals, and where capital requirements are not already determined by other capital measures (e.g. leverage), there would be costs for the firm associated with the additional capital required,” the PRA said in a statement.

The proposals would narrow differences between in-house models and the standardised approach and limit future divergence, it said.

“The PRA considers that this would support competition between firms on the different approaches,” the PRA said.

Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Gareth Jones and Mark Potter

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