UK aged care sector buckling under COVID-19 pressures

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Aged care workers in the UK attempting to bulk-buy groceries from supermarkets like Tesco are facing restrictions, despite relying on large-scale food purchases to service their residents.

The restrictions are in line with those imposed on the general public – to prevent panic-buying during COVID-19 – but are out of sync with allowances made for NHS staff.

As a result, some homes have inadequate quantities of preferred food. For residents with dietary requirements and pre-existing conditions, like diabetes, this has serious knock-on consequences.

Under COVID-19, the UK aged care sector’s normal standards have plummeted, as the country continues to grapple with the pandemic.

Being one of the hardest-hit nations, globally, more than 15% of its aged care workforce is currently self-isolating as a precautionary measure, due to contact with an at-risk person.

The UK also has a national shortage of protective resources, like PPEs, aged care staff training in barrier nursing, and testing kits.

Given the strain its under, most homes are no longer admitting new residents. Some aged-care bosses are also threatening to quit, under new government guidelines forcing them to admit residents with coronavirus from NHS hospitals.

France, however, may be even further down the track, with 5400 new cases reported since Thursday.

All up, 5,357 people in France have died from the virus, with not all data collected from its 7,400 aged care homes.