"Data on Covid care home deaths kept secret to promote commercial interests " Robert Booth Guardian Online exclusive 27 August 2020.
Apologies for not providing a direct link but I couldnt get one to work. A google search will easily find the article.
The gist of it is that the number of deaths due to Coronavirus in individual care homes will not be revealed. It is feared that revealing the figures could undermine the UK Care system which is mainly privately operated. Many have lost income both due to deaths of residents and peoples reluctance to go into care homes.
Of course the implication is that if care homes close,which is a real possibility there will be nowhere for older people who need care to go. "Bed blocking" was a massive issue before Coronavirus. The issue was resolved at the beginning of the pandemic by government throwing money at care homes to buy empty beds for hospital patients to be discharged to. I think we all know the tragedy that resulted in. So if we do have the second wave there is a risk there will be nowhere for people in hospital to go.
CQC support the withholding of which care homes have had deaths from Coronavirus.
There are some very good care homes out there,really excellent ones and many very devoted carers.
There are also some you wouldnt leave a pet in.
The majority of care homes are privately operated. Some are small individual homes. There are however a large number of chains. Often these are faceless organisations based outside the UK where profit is priority for shareholders. A bit of digging around and I was quite shocked to find the care home company my daughter works for also owns Pret and Pizza Express to name a few.
There has been lots of debate about care home providers not buying PPE during the crisis. To be honest it simply wasnt available however much they were willing to pay. What was available was redirected to NHS.
Managers of care homes were heavily pressurised to admit patients from hospitals with no or delayed test results. My daughters manager refused unless they had the test result before admission. She was threatened with disciplinary action but stood her ground and remained Covid free. They are part of a large group but staff and residents have been tested weekly/monthly and they do not use agency staff.
The care home I (on paper ) work for went very wrong somewhere. A third of the residents died. The majority of staff who were there during that month have no left. Its changing its name soon. It's also changed its functionality so the majority of residents left will move. As with all care homes no visitors have been inside since March. When they do return I'm sure any questions about missing residents could be met with either I wasnt working here or a vague they have moved on.
I am at high risk due to medical issues. I would feel reasonably safe working in my daughters workplace. I do not intend to set foot again in mine. They have proved dishonest and untrustworthy since the pandemic began. I'm currently working with my Union to get any pay I'm owed.
As for the residents who died I feel they have just been erased.
Without transparency how can people make a fair judgement about whether a care home is a safe place for themselves or a loved one? Where mistakes were made how do we know lessons have been learnt and procedures put into place to prevent tens of thousands of deaths happening again this winter?
Is anyone ever going to be held accountable? I must admit in my darker moments I do wonder if other than those immediately involved anybody actually cares.
It appears that globally the way we support our most vulnerable members of society has resulted in unbelievable suffering and death. Much of this could have been lessened or prevented if we treated those in receipt of care and those who care for them as an asset. I cant help but wonder what it will take to enforce change.
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