Social care needed its own Nightingale support system - The Yorkshire Post says

The opening of the new Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate last week by new national hero Captain Tom Moore represented a logistical triumph and was rightly cause for celebration.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock gives a message via videolink at the opening of NHS Nightingale Hospital Yorkshire and Humber in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

But another altogether bleaker Covid-related development in the town highlights the disparity in the support being offered to care homes in the fight against the deadly virus. Vida Healthcare, which supports almost 200 residents at two care homes in Harrogate, has revealed it has been waiting 10 days for testing kits to arrive after a first consignment was never delivered following the deaths of two residents.

Read More

Read More
Read more:

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The extraordinary national effort to create temporary Nightingale hospitals around the country and reduce the likelihood of existing intensive care units becoming overwhelmed with patients has been one of the most impressive parts of the national response to the crisis.

Harrogate Nightingale Hospital on opening day last week.

But there ought to have been an equivalent Nightingale system in place for social care - allowing those showing symptoms to receive specialist care where possible rather than being left in homes and risking further infections of fellow residents as well as staff.

As late as February 25, Public Health England was advising care homes there was no need for staff to wear facemasks as it was “very unlikely that anyone receiving care in a care home will become infected”. But by April 10, more than 1,000 deaths had already occurred in care homes.

It is already too late for many, but with many of the Nightingale sites now sitting largely empty, serious consideration should be given to evacuating elderly patients with coronavirus in care homes to the new temporary hospitals.

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.

And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.

Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected] Vouchers, to be exchanged at retail sales outlets - our newsagents need you, too - can be subscribed to by contacting subscriptions on 0330 1235950 or by visiting where you should select The Yorkshire Post from the list of titles available.

If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.

Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson