Joint statement by Solihull Council and NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group
This week the rate of infection in Solihull has reached a level that is concerning. Since the start of September, there have been 115 cases of Covid-19 in Solihull, compared to a total of 84 cases across the whole of August. This rapid acceleration has increased local rates from an average of between 7 and 10 in August to 53.4 by Saturday 5 September.
Solihull’s Director of Public Health, Ruth Tennant said: “This recent spike is a wake-up call to us all that this virus has not gone away. The sharp increase has shown Covid-19 is very much still with us. This means that after discussion and agreement with our Director of Adult Care and Support and the Chief Nurse for NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group we have, with great regret, made the decision to suspend visits to care homes in Solihull with immediate effect. This is a step that has already been taken in some other parts of the country where rates have risen. We will review this position weekly until the risk of introducing Covid-19 to care homes reduces once again.”
Jenny Wood, Director of Adult Care and Support at Solihull Council, explained: “Our concern for the wellbeing of care home residents includes an appreciation of the value and importance of contact with family and friends. We know that many families are concerned about managing the difficult balance between seeing and speaking to family members who are residents, while wanting to avoid the risk of infection either to their own family member, or others living in the care home. We have not taken this decision lightly and are committed to working closely with all care homes across the borough in relation to these arrangements.”
Helen Jenkinson, Chief Nurse, NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “We appreciate that for some residents, such as those nearing the end of their life, there are exceptional circumstances when there may be a need to enable safe visiting at this time. Solihull Council will be working closely with all care homes to discuss and agree these arrangements, where they are needed, in order to balance a compassionate response with rigorous infection prevention and control to protect the residents, especially those particularly vulnerable to Covid-19.”