How Hartlepool care homes are faring during covid
Hartlepool has seen its ‘most positive position in six months’ regarding rates of Covid-19 in care homes, according to latest figures.
Hartlepool Borough Council chiefs have also reported they have seen high numbers receiving vaccinations in care homes, and they have carried out ‘myth-busting’ sessions to further encourage residents.
Trevor Smith, council head of strategic commissioning for adults, said figures for new Covid-19 cases in care homes ‘have reduced significantly’ in recent months.
He said: “The number of positive cases, this has now reduced dramatically
“There were 58 new cases in January for residents, and 51 for staff, and that was much reduced from the previous figures in December, where it was 86 for residents and 68 for staff, so it’s gone down quite a lot.
“The latest figures for February have shown that has reduced significantly further as well.”
As of February 24, there had been no confirmed cases in residents of care homes for older people for eight days, and no Covid related deaths for 11 days, which is the most ‘positive position seen in the last six months’ according to his report.
The information was discussed at the Hartlepool Borough Council Adult and Community Based Services Committee, where an update was also provided on the number of vaccinations given to care home residents.
In total 93% of care home residents in Hartlepool have been vaccinated with the first dose, or were offered the vaccination, along with 83% of staff.
Mr Wilson added they are ‘mopping up’ residents who missed receiving their vaccination for various reasons to further increase the number vaccinated.
He also noted they have been carrying out ‘myth-buster’ sessions for those who said they did not want the vaccine.
He said: “It’s increasing slightly as we mop up people who previously missed a vaccination because they may have had Covid or may have been isolating etc.
“So that’s increasing all the time, but in small numbers as we try and mop up those.
“There are some people who have refused the vaccine.
“We can’t make them take the vaccine, but we’re doing everything we can to encourage people, and we’ve had various myth buster sessions and we’re sending further information out.”
Cllr Carl Richardson also stressed the importance of people being vaccinated and called for the myth busting information to be spread more widely.
He said: “We still have too many people who are believing some of the myths that are going on as regards the vaccine, and I do feel that it’s important that everyone should be having that vaccine.”
Council officers said they have been in discussions with NHS communications colleagues about how they get myth-busting messages out to residents.
Cllr Stephen Thomas praised the work which has been carried out by care home staff over the last 12 months in the difficult circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said: “It’s been an incredibly difficult 12 months for care homes not just in Hartlepool, but up and down the country and one of the things I would like to do is pass on our gratitude to staff.
“They are doing some tremendous work in extremely difficult circumstances over the last 12 months, and we really do owe them a debt of gratitude for the work they’ve done during a very, very difficult 12 months with the pandemic.”