More disturbing reports about care homes:
The Sunday Telegraph reported that ‘the Government was still telling care homes that the risk of infection from coronavirus was “very unlikely”, even when there were nearly 800 confirmed cases of the disease in Britain.’
In February, Public Health England published ‘Guidance for social or community care and residential settings on Covid-19’. It said “It remains very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home or the community will become infected.”’ During the two weeks before Whitehall officials to withdrew the guidance, on March 13, 798 cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in Britain’, including ten deaths. Yet during that same period care homes were advised: ‘“Currently there is no evidence of transmission of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom. There is no need to do anything differently in any care setting at present.”’ Staff were advised that ‘they did not need to wear masks during “day-to-day activities”, and that these were only required by “infected individuals” and if told to dio so by a health worker.
Yet, given all we now know – and a reported death tpoll in care homes of 17,000 people there are stil delays in gettbng personal protective equipment to care worker. The Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick, says it will not be nationally available for at least another fortnight. Meanwhile, it is also reported that care home providers are passing on the costs of PPE to residents. Age Concern UK say ne has been charging more than £6 a day, due to a lack of funding with Care England saying Government funds have not reached the frontline.
An increasing number of worried relatives have responded by seeking legal advice about removing their loved ones and bringing their relatives home, while thousands of families with relatives in residential care are reportedly struggling to cover the fees because the property market freeze has left them unable to sell their loved one’s home.
And in another twist, Care England has warned that some local commissioners have stated that care providers must accept COVID-19-positive individuals to receive emergency funding – further endangering other residents.
The advice which has been given to care homes has been inconsistent and confused. The evidence of our eye, from Spain and Italy, set alarm bells ringing but the were ignored – with lethal consequences. Covid 19 is stalking the UK’s care homes and challenges the claim that ‘from the very beginning’ the authorities have put the protection of the vulnerable at the top of their priority list.