The constant increase in coronavirus outbreaks in large care homes in the UK has prompted calls to divide them into “bubbles”.
A recent study has revealed that coronavirus outbreaks are twenty times more likely in large care homes. The research will prompt an in-depth examination of private care chains which often run the largest facilities.
There have been calls on ministers to come up with stricter guidelines to reduce the risk of further outbreaks in care homes.
Despite the ministers` claim that they have “thrown a protective ring” around care homes, almost 40 per cent of more than 55,500 people who died from the coronavirus in the country were care home residents.
Prof Bruce Guthrie, the director of the Advanced Care Research Centre at Edinburgh University and Associate researcher at Health Data Research UK, said: “More footfall will give you more risk of infection.
“Although care home size cannot be altered without losing places for existing residents, there may be potential to create discrete units within care homes where smaller numbers of staff and residents are effectively cohorted to create self-contained units, “he said.
The prime minister, Boris Johnson, was slammed last week for criticising care homes of failing to follow proper procedures in the midst of the pandemic.
Care home leaders condemned the government for failure to provide clear procedures. When the crisis was at its peak, about 25,000 people were discharged from hospitals into care homes without being tested for Covid-19.
The director of policy at the King`s Fund health thinktank suggested that the creation of “bubbles” would increase the cost of staffing and providing facilities which has previously shared across large homes.
She added: “If we want to move to a model based on smaller units we are going to have to pay more as taxpayers.”
The Department of Health and Social Care has pledged £600 million to help tackle the spread of the coronavirus, including reducing the movement between care homes.