Agency Staff At Higher Risk of Covid-19.
ONS: Agency and bank staff show higher infection rates in care homes.
Infection rates were lower in homes offering sick pay.
A Vivaldi project survey of 9,081 care homes in England from 26th May to 20th June has found that 56% reported at least one confirmed case of the novel Coronavirus.
The survey covered nearly 293,434 residents and 441,498 staff, using weighting to take account of the care homes which did not respond to the survey.
Of the homes that reported at least one case, an estimated 20% of residents and 7% of staff tested positive, as reported by the care home managers.
However, there were some common factors in care homes with higher levels of infections amongst residents. In care homes where staff receive sick pay, there were lower levels of infection in residents.
Infections rates were higher in those homes where care homes employed staff working across multiple sites and which frequently use bank or agency nurses / carers.
Because the results only include confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, estimates are likely to underestimate the proportion of staff and residents who were infected.
The ONS report states that these are the first results from the Vivaldi study, a large-scale survey which looked specifically at infections in care homes providing care for people with dementia and older people across England.
Future work will include more detailed analysis and will incorporate COVID-19 test results from the whole care home testing programme.
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