One area in Wales has had a Covid outbreak in all council-owned care homes
Emily Gill, local democracy reporter
All 15 council-owned care homes in Blaenau Gwent have experienced a Covid outbreak over the past year.
A county borough council scrutiny committee heard that since April 2020, all 15 council care homes in the area had been closed at some point to new admissions “due to Covid outbreaks”.
A report on the impact of covid on adult care said: “A number of care settings have had significant outbreaks which has meant that they have been unable to receive any new placements for several months and the wellbeing of both staff and residents has been a concern and a priority for our teams.”
The head of adult services at the council, Alyson Hoskins, said that care homes “couldn’t take any placements” when they had outbreaks and “couldn’t support hospital discharges”.
Despite there having previously been outbreaks in all the care homes Ms Hoskins said that the council doesn’t currently have any outbreaks.
The council has also seen a 26 per cent decrease, since February 2020, in beds occupied in care homes, despite the number of beds offered increasing.
In February 2020 there were 468 beds offered and 444 beds occupied. In February 2021 there were 480 beds offered and 329 beds occupied.
Cllr Derrick Bevan said he was concerned by the number of beds occupied because it was a “massive drop”.
He said: “People are a bit afraid to go into care homes because of the publicity surrounding it.”
Ms Hoskins said that there had been 22,000 lateral flow tests distributed throughout the pandemic.
The council had also received and distributed personal protective equipment, including gloves, aprons, and masks, to all providers.