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Suffolk coronavirus response to inform future pandemic planning

PUBLISHED: 07:30 15 May 2020

Care homes have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, as residents are among those most vulnerable. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK PHOTO

Care homes have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, as residents are among those most vulnerable. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK PHOTO

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Care bosses in Suffolk have said their priority remains supporting providers in Suffolk though the coronavirus crisis, as some authorities plan public inquiries.

Councillor Rebecca Hopfensperger, cabinet member for adult care at Suffolk County Council has praised the heroic efforts of the county's carers, and said the focus needed to remain on supporting care efforts. Picture: SCC/SIMON LEE PHOTOGRAPHYCouncillor Rebecca Hopfensperger, cabinet member for adult care at Suffolk County Council has praised the heroic efforts of the county's carers, and said the focus needed to remain on supporting care efforts. Picture: SCC/SIMON LEE PHOTOGRAPHY

A petition for a public inquiry into the handling of the Covid-19 crisis by the Government has attracted more than 10,000 signatures, and politicians in Birmingham have pledged their own investigation into the response there.

MORE: Sign up to the EADT daily newsletter here for updates on coronavirus

It comes as Westminster’s pandemic modelling has been called into question, while The Guardian reported that the Government was warned two years ago that care homes would be vulnerable in a pandemic situation.

Suffolk’s care chiefs have said it is too early to consider any kind of investigation, but confirmed all of the data and experiences collected locally would help the Suffolk Resilience Forum for future pandemic planning.

Cabinet member for adult social care, Beccy Hopfensperger, said: “We will be building on all that data that we are collecting, and it will help in the future – hopefully we won’t ever have to go through this again.

“There are lessons to be learned through anything like this but it’s a bit fleet of foot.

“What we have tried to do is put as much planning process in beforehand, as far as you can plan, to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

“There will be a time to reflect and learn when we start coming out of the other end a bit more.”

The council said it would not want to begin carrying out an inquiry while the pressing need was still on delivering care and safeguarding people in the community, as well as not knowing if there would be a national investigation.

Mrs Hopfensperger added: “Our priority at the moment is supplying that essential care. We need to continue as we are not out of the other end yet.

“At the moment we are still in the thick of it, we are still standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our care providers to provide that care which is what is needed at the moment.”

The UK now has 33.614 deaths from the virus – the highest recorded amount of any European nation.

MORE: Third of all care home deaths linked to coronavirus

It is above Italy, Spain and France which have all recorded deaths north of 27,000.

The number of total cases in the UK meanwhile is 233,151 as of Thursday.

To stay abreast of latest Covid-19 developments in Suffolk follow the Facebook page here or bookmark the EADT Coronavirus topic page here.


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