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Agenda item

Scrutiny Review - Carers Adult Carers - Consideration of Review

Minutes:

Members considered whether to expand the review to include recent developments in relation to COVID 19. The Committee also considered a submission from UNISON, which had been circulated in conjunction with this item. Andrew Berry UNISON outlined the submission, which was responded to by Councillor Burgess, Executive Member Health and Social Care

 

During consideration of the report the following main points were made –

 

·         Members were of the view that in view of the recent COVID 19 pandemic, the scrutiny review should be extended in order to consider the effect that dealing with the pandemic has had on carers in Islington

·         UNISON stated that there was a need to address a number of issues in relation to the Government’s introduction of the Infection Control Fund for care homes and Domiciliary Care. It was noted that there had been confusion concerning the nature and allocation of funds initially, and referred to the e mail exchange between the EM Health and Social Care and the Leader

·         In response to a statement, the EM Health and Social Care stated that there were regular meetings between Trade Unions and the Council, and that these would continue and that there were also are also regular meetings with care  providers

·         It was stated that UNISON had concerns about care staff going into work, and possibly spreading infection when they were unwell, given that some providers were not fully funding sick pay. The EM Health and Social Care stated that to her knowledge care providers were now providing for a top up to SSP if staff were self-isolating, and there had been funding provided for care homes and staff for additional PPE. In relation to agency staff the Council were working with providers to limit the use of such staff, especially across more than one site, however there is a need for agency staff to be used in some instances, in order to ensure services are maintained

·         Members welcomed the UNISON submission, and stated that this could be considered as part of the Scrutiny Review going forward. Members expressed the view that the Scrutiny Review should be extended for a period, in order to consider additional information on COVID 19, including deaths of residents in care homes, and sheltered accommodation, availability of PPE, pay, including sick pay for carers/domiciliary staff, and the impact of COVID 19 on BAME staff and residents

·         Members noted that deaths in care homes had increased due to the Government decision early in the pandemic to decant elderly people from hospitals back into home cares. In addition, there had been a lack of testing in care homes initially although this was now improving

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)  That the UNISON submission be noted, and considered as part of the Scrutiny Review.  UNISON to be invited to attend future meetings of the Committee where the Scrutiny Review is discussed

(b)  That the Scrutiny Review on Adult Paid Carers be extended for a short period to consider evidence from the UNISON submission, together with additional information in relation to COVID 19, as referred to above, with a view to the final report being considered at the October/November meeting of the Committee

 

The Chair thanked Councillor Burgess and Andrew Berry for attending

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