Pathetic, isn’t it?
The Conservative government has tried to claim that temporary care workers spread Covid-19 between different care homes to cause the huge increase in deaths there.
Those of us with a more rational outlook believe the epidemic was more likely caused by the Tory policy of shifting people with Covid symptoms from hospital into care homes as soon as possible – without caring whether those homes had isolation facilities.
Which do you think is more likely?
Bear in mind that the two possibilities are not mutually exclusive.
And who’s responsible for homes having to employ temporary workers, anyway?
The Guardian certainly seems to think the Tory government is responsible either way. It states:
In evidence that raises further questions about ministers’ claims to have “thrown a protective ring around care homes”, it emerged that agency workers – often employed on zero-hours contracts – unwittingly spread the infection as the pandemic grew, according to [a] study by Public Health England (PHE).
The genome tracking research into the behaviour of the virus in six care homes in London found that, in some cases, workers who transmitted coronavirus had been drafted in to cover for care home staff who were self-isolating expressly to prevent the vulnerable people they look after from becoming infected.
During flu pandemic planning in 2018, a report from social care directors warned ministers that frontline care workers would need advice on “controlling cross-infection”. A 2019 PHE document about flu pandemic preparations called “Infection prevention and control: an outbreak information pack for care homes” urged operators to “try to avoid moving staff between homes and floors”.
But the DHSC’s social care plan, published on 16 April, mentions nothing about restricting staff movements between homes in its chapter on “controlling the spread of infection in care homes”.
So hopeful Tories are set to be disappointed; if temporary care home staff did transmit the bug, it was because of Tory government failures.
Worse is the Tory government policy to transfer elderly people with Covid-19 symptoms out of hospital and into care homes, regardless of whether those homes had the facilities to isolate the patients. Here‘s the Huffington Post:
The government had a “policy of emptying hospitals and filling care homes” when coronavirus began to grip the country, a top care boss has said.
Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said Boris Johnson should have stopped the spread of Covid-19 to social care settings, where elderly people, many of whom have underlying health conditions, were particularly vulnerable to the disease.
He also criticised the discharge of patients from hospitals to care homes, saying people who either “didn’t have a Covid-19 status or were symptomatic were discharged into care homes” which were full of people “with underlying health conditions”.
Green, whose body represents care home providers in England, said homes should have been isolating residents who returned from hospital – as those in some other countries have – but many did not have the right set-up.
Whichever way you look at it, the Tory government was responsible for what has been an absolute massacre of vulnerable people who were supposed to be enjoying the best possible care.
So we come back to the big question, with the Tories found to have been responsible for causing these infections and deaths in care homes.
Was this result intended?
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