Bridgend County Borough Council has put in place a number of measures to ensure all independent care home providers have access to the necessary support during the coronavirus pandemic.

The local authority has created an information sharing group which provides advice and guidance to care home providers as well as enabling different providers to communicate with each other and provide support.

The group which also includes representation from the council and the health board provides information on such areas as admissions, managing visits, maintaining effective infection control, and hygiene.

It also includes information and processes of Covid-19 testing for staff and residents of independent care homes.

The Leader, Cllr Huw David, said:

“Emergency personal protective equipment (PPE) from Welsh Government is being allocated to care home providers in line with national and Public Health Wales guidance – and updates in respect of deliveries are made via this group.

“Last week we issued around 140,000 items of PPE.

“In excess of 25 independent care home providers are being supported through the set-up – while these are mainly care homes for older people, it also includes care settings supporting younger adults with mental health or learning disabilities.

“A separate information group has been established for registered providers working in the community, such as supported living and homecare services, who are supported in a similar way.

“In addition, daily calls are taking place to check in with each home to see if they are ok and to gather key information in terms of the status of the home with information then being shared among relevant services in the local authority and the health board.”

Cabinet Member for Social Services, Cllr Philip White, said:

“We are supporting staff with testing and providing the necessary information for them.

“For the safety of all residents we have agreed a policy which states that all individuals will have a test before being discharged from hospital to a care home.

“While families and visitors are unable to currently visit care homes to help reduce the spread of coronavirus, all homes are making sure that communication is being maintained with their loved ones, with many homes using modern technology like online video calls.”