Care homes across Enfield have been urged to ensure that all new residents have been tested negative of COVID-19 before they are admitted.
Enfield Council’s Leader, Cllr Nesil Caliskan and the Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, Cllr Alev Cazimoglu, have jointly written to all 79 care homes in the borough to reiterate the Council’s position on admissions, in an effort to keep residents and staff safe and to minimise the risk of COVID-19 re-entering these homes.
This includes: making sure that staff who do need to self-isolate continue to be paid; that they do not work across multiple care settings to avoid the risk of cross-infection; and no new admissions of residents without a negative antigen test for COVID-19.
The warning comes as COVID-19 infection rates have risen both nationally and in Enfield. Cllr Caliskan has particular concerns for Enfield as the borough has one of the highest number of care homes in London, looking after people who are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus.
She said: “Enfield’s care homes have worked extremely hard throughout this pandemic to keep their residents, care givers and staff safe, under particularly difficult circumstances.
“I am concerned that in recent weeks, like the rest of the country, COVID-19 rates have increased in Enfield. Enfield Council has been clear throughout this crisis that testing is absolutely crucial in order for us to be able to stop the spread of the virus.
“We know that access to testing is becoming increasingly difficult and we will continue to lobby the government for better access to testing for our communities and care homes.
“In the meantime, we are reiterating our guidance that those being admitted to care homes, be it from people’s own homes or from hospitals, must have a negative test result.”
For those who have tested positive for the virus, Enfield Council has worked with local partners in the NHS to ensure there is ward-based capacity for the most vulnerable people requiring high levels of care and support. The Council is clear that these patients must continue to receive the care and support they need, in an appropriate setting, until they are confirmed to be clear of the virus.
Last week, Cllr Caliskan wrote to every residential home in the borough, warning them of the ongoing risks related to COVID-19 and the importance of following guidance and getting tested if displaying coronavirus symptoms. You can read more about Cllr Caliskan’s letter on our website.
The latest guidance can be found at GOV.UK - Get a PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19).