‘Long Covid’ – One of Many Challenges Facing the Care Sector

For now, Covid-19 continues to put the care system under great strain. News on the vaccine front sounds promising but nothing is certain and the roll-out will probably be lengthy.

In the immediate term, teams across the country are concerned about the stress that rising infection rates place on brokerage teams and local delivery networks. It’s vital that we avert a possible burn-out among the people responsible for supporting vulnerable members of society.

To understand how the system is coping, the CQC recently published a summary of Provider Collaboration Reviews. The reviews focus on the response to the first wave of infections. Among these were studies that looked at hospital discharge and wellbeing. Others studied collaborative approaches to managing the transition from hospital to domiciliary care.


Collaboration in Care


The simple message from the reviews was this: collaboration is vital! Alongside the need to manage hospital discharge effectively there are growing pressures brought by increasing demand for home care at a time when staffing is highly volatile. New care home admissions are becoming rarer, meaning more home care capacity is needed. 


For many, the road to recovery from Covid-19 is a long one


According to the BMJ: ‘NHS England estimated that up to 5 June, more than 95 000 patients had been admitted to hospitals across England with covid-19 and it assumed 45% would need ongoing support. Figures from the UK Covid Symptom Study app—which has more than four million regular users—suggest that a significant number of people report symptoms for a month and between 10% and 20% report complications for longer.’

The data points to a range of possible complications, regardless of whether patients were hospitalised. These could affect the respiratory system, the brain, cardiovascular system and heart, the kidneys, the gut, the liver, and the skin. These conditions will need to be managed in the community.


Long Term Care Needs


It’s clear that long-covid cases will need social care support for weeks or even months. This adds to the volume of care packages that need to be placed and managed at a time when care services are already stretched.

The first place where the increased demand for care in the community will put pressure is on brokerage teams. The system will have to work efficiently and link seamlessly with care providers for there to be any chance of keeping up with demand. This means it’s time for technology to step in. 

Spreadsheets, emails and phone calls will not be sufficiently responsive, resilient or efficient. The alternative is to adopt cloud-based eBrokerage. This brings the entire process into a secure online marketplace that saves time and improves accountability. And there’s still time to make the change – your eBrokerage system could be up and running within two weeks and can be procured through the G-Cloud 12 framework, via Ulysses eBrokerage Cloud Software.

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