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Discharging hospital patients to care homes at the start of the pandemic

(60 Posts)
Farzanah Wed 27-Apr-22 11:20:57

The BBC has reported that the government policy of discharging patients to care homes at the start of the Pandemic without a test has been ruled “unlawful” by High Court. Two women whose fathers died have taken the government to court.

Daisymae Wed 27-Apr-22 11:50:46

If we ever get an enquiry I suspect that a lot of dubious decision making will come to light.

Elizabeth27 Wed 27-Apr-22 11:57:18

Wasn’t it the doctors that were discharging patients back to care homes at the beginning?

Baggs Wed 27-Apr-22 11:59:10

Good question, eliz27. I doubt anyone in government has the authority to interfere in hospital discharges. They certainly shouldn't have such authority.

Pepper59 Wed 27-Apr-22 12:08:57

I don't know enough about this, but thought it would have to be a doctor's decision. What I do know is that during the worst times, the attitude towards older/ elderly people in general, made me wonder and ask where people's compassion was. I got the impression that elderly/ senior people were seen as a burden and I really was horrified and taken aback by the ' well, they've had their life attitude'. Does no one have senior folks that they care about anymore?

Farzanah Wed 27-Apr-22 12:10:34

I think if you check Full Fact you will see that it was indeed policy to discharge patients without necessarily testing them.

MissAdventure Wed 27-Apr-22 12:11:46

I understood that health and social care staff were largely left to get on with things, and had to look online for guidance as none was given directly to them.

Farzanah Wed 27-Apr-22 12:16:07

Yes Miss and without adequate PPE.

Farzanah Wed 27-Apr-22 12:16:43

Sorry MissAdventure.

SueDonim Wed 27-Apr-22 13:28:11

My DD was a student medic on geriatric wards in Scotland when Covid broke out. Patients were discharged as fast as possible to free up beds for the sick patients pouring into A&E. In her particular hospital the patients who didn’t have Covid had to pass through the Covid patient ward to get to the non-covid bit. ?‍♀️ She had no PPE, and staff were falling like flies either with the virus or because they had to isolate.

It was hellish.

Casdon Wed 27-Apr-22 13:38:56

I was there too at the time - hospital staff were acting under guidance from Public Health and the Government, and were under huge pressure to empty beds for the anticipated deluge of Covid patients. It was policy to discharge patients to care homes if they had no symptoms, tests just weren’t available initially.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 27-Apr-22 13:42:55

It wasn’t known at the time that you could have covid but be asymptomatic.

Whitewavemark2 Wed 27-Apr-22 15:01:32


It wasn’t known at the time that you could have covid but be asymptomatic.

Yes it was

Whitewavemark2 Wed 27-Apr-22 15:01:56

Johnson lied in PMQs

OakDryad Wed 27-Apr-22 15:16:36

It was known in January 2020 that asymptomatic transmission was happening. I posted about this on the other thread.

Whitewavemark2 Wed 27-Apr-22 15:21:36


Good question, eliz27. I doubt anyone in government has the authority to interfere in hospital discharges. They certainly shouldn't have such authority.

The government told hospitals to clear wards, and requested care homes to take the elderly. I distinctly remembering the alarm that people voiced. All ignored.

kjmpde Wed 27-Apr-22 15:24:13

even if the people had been tested - it would have been results for that day. Like a MOT it is just on that day. How many people have been told negative despite symptoms and when positive and no symptoms? The issue though is lack of PPE

Aveline Wed 27-Apr-22 15:24:28

I suspect that Nicola will be shaking in her stilettos. Discharges to care homes in Scotland have been found to have led to thousands of deaths.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 27-Apr-22 15:32:25

It amazes me that care homes seem to accept no responsibility.

paddyann54 Wed 27-Apr-22 15:35:29

As they have WORLDWIDE Avaline Nicola Sturgeon like the rest of the world was doing what the scientists told her was best .You cant help yourself can you? You should get a job with the BBC,they love people who can spin everything to SNP BAD !!

MissAdventure Wed 27-Apr-22 15:36:22

I was under the impression that homes were more or less "forced" to accept people back into their care?

volver Wed 27-Apr-22 15:38:58

I was thinking about this.

What about the care homes? is something that appears at least once in every discussion about Scotland's politics.

So it turns out Scotland and England were doing the exact same things. Seems that we took responsibility for it long before Hancock and that lot did, if they even have yet. Can we stop picking on Scotland now, please?

OakDryad Wed 27-Apr-22 15:51:21

They were MissAdventure.

On 17 March 2020, Simon Stevens NHS CEO and Amanda Pritchard NHS COO wrote:

Last night the Government announced additional measures to seek to reduce the spread across the country. It is essential these measures succeed. However as the outbreak intensifies over the coming days and weeks, the evidence from other countries and the advice from SAGE and the Chief Medical Officer is that at the peak of the outbreak the NHS will still come under intense pressure.

This letter therefore sets out important actions we are now asking every part of the NHS to put in place to redirect staff and resources, building on multiple actions already in train.


Community health providers must take immediate full responsibility for urgent discharge of all eligible patients identified by acute providers on a discharge list. For those needing social care, emergency legislation before Parliament this week will ensure that eligibility assessments do not delay discharge. New government funding for these discharge packages and to support the supply and resilience of out-of-hospital care more broadly is being made available. (See section 6f of this letter). Trusts and CCGs will need to work with local authority partners to ensure that additional capacity is appropriately commissioned. This could potentially free up to 15,000 acute beds currently occupied by patients awaiting discharge or with lengths of stay over 21 days.

We all know that care home staff were hung out to dry with no warning, no training and no PPE by a government which had known about asymptomatic transmission for two months.

MissAdventure Wed 27-Apr-22 15:56:05

There was a woman who 'kidnapped' her mum, and a big old stink was kicked up about it.

Whitewavemark2 Wed 27-Apr-22 16:00:06


There was a woman who 'kidnapped' her mum, and a big old stink was kicked up about it.

Yes I remember that. It was as if the home “owned” her mother it was a disgrace.