Care homes: How to apply for an iPad for your loved one in a care home

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Care homes are a massive concern for many around the UK as winter draws closer. Visiting restrictions for care homes during the coronavirus pandemic have led to many care home residents experiencing isolation. In a bid to tackle this isolation, the Government is offering care homes iPads to help keep them connected to their loved ones – but how can you get one?

Coronavirus cases are spiking in care homes once again according to a leaked document last month.

The leaked document showed the Government is failing to protect the most vulnerable from the rising number of cases.

The report from the Department of Health found cases had quadrupled since the start of the month – standing at around 1,100 new cases each day by mid-September.

At that time Health Secretary Matt Hancock said outbreaks had been detected in 43 care homes.

The Government implemented its three-tier covid alert system last week across England.

Regions are now classified as either “medium”, “high” and “very high”.

Each tier has different lockdown restrictions and specific rules pertaining to care home visits.

In “very high” tier 3 areas you are told not to visit a care home except in exceptional circumstances.

Exceptional circumstances include for instance when someone who is at the end of their life.

This is also the advice for those in “high” Tier 2 areas.

For Tier 1 or medium areas, general guidance for a visit to care homes has been published by the Government here.

The Government guidance reads: “To limit risk where visits do take place, these visits should be limited to a single constant visitor per each resident where possible.

“There should be an absolute maximum of two constant visitors per resident (taking into account individual residents’ circumstances).

“This is in order to limit the overall numbers of visitors to the care home and the consequent risk of disease transmission.”

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The Government is offering a number of iPads to help care homes provide care to residents.

We’re offering iPads to help care homes provide care to residents.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re helping care homes to provide ongoing care to residents – by providing iPads and helping to improve internet access.

The iPads are aimed at helping staff members to:

  • Hold video consultations with health and care professionals
  • Use NHSmail (a secure NHS internal email service)
  • Connect care home residents with loved ones remotely
  • Get direct access to any other tools or systems needed to support the care of residents.

Where care homes have inconsistent wifi networks, each iPad will include a data-enabled SIM card which will be free of charge for 12 months.

Which care homes are eligible for an iPad?

Any care home which has received some or all of their funding for residential care from the NHS or local authority can apply for the scheme.

There is a limited number of iPads so the following criteria here must also be met.

Priority will be given to the following care homes which have:

  • Received all or some of their funding for residential care from the NHS or from a local authority.
  • Applied for a device using our order form.
  • Less than one tablet device per 40 residents.

How to apply for an iPad

To apply for an iPad you must submit a claim form here.

The deadline for submitting this form is 11.59pm tonight.

After applications have been submitted, the NHS will get in touch with everyone to detail the outcome of their claim.

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