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12 Taking care of the care sector Editor Tim Probert talks to National Care Association executive chair Nadra Ahmed about the implications of Covid-19

15 How to stay ‘effective’ in a health pandemic Ed Watkinson, a former care home inspector who consults for Quality Compliance Systems (QCS), on how to run an ‘Effective’ service in a pandemic

21 What if staff refuse to work due to safety concerns? Toyah Marshall, principal employment law adviser and solicitor, and Charles Spencer, principal health and safety consultant of employment consultants Ellis Whittam on addressing staff concerns during the Covid-19 pandemic

24 Coronavirus and the benefits of extra-care living Former health minister Dr. Stephen Ladyman explains how the extra-care model of retirement can assist with social distancing and isolation amid the Covid-19 pandemic

June 2020 • 3 24

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Care reforms need industry united front Comment

Welcome to the June edition of The Care Home Environment Digital. As the number of tragic Covid-related deaths in care homes gradually declines, thoughts are turning to how the sector can reform to ensure it is more resilient if there is a second wave of coronavirus or another pandemic strikes in future. Proposals to reform funding of social care

are myriad. Take the ‘National Care Service’ idea. Some say that such a service should be managed from Whitehall, like the NHS, others say it should be funded from the centre but led by local government. Some say care free at the point of use

should be funded out of National Insurance, some say it should be covered by a new care tax paid by all, others say it should be paid by only the over-40s. Other proposals mooted include the

creation of a cabinet ‘Care Secretary’ to oversee the sector, others want to see a ‘Chief Care Officer’, akin to the UK government’s Chief Medical Officer.

The differences of opinion have been

noted at the highest echelons of government. In evidence given to the House of Lords economic affairs select committee last month, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the absence of a consensus over funding is a significant barrier to social care reform. It is therefore welcome that the Independent

Care Group (ICG), which represents providers in North Yorkshire, has called for the creation of an industry task force to lead the necessary post-Covid reform of the sector. The task force, the ICG suggests, should

feature leading figures from Care England, National Care Forum, National Care Association and others. Speaking with one voice and arguing for

a coherent, unified set of policies must surely be the way forward. Enjoy the issue.

Tim Probert • Editor

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