Tag Archives: care home

Temporary staff caused increase in social care Covid-19 cases, survey shows

Temporary agency staff fuelled the spread of coronavirus in care homes, according to a survey.

Well, of course they did.

… alongside the Tory insistence on shipping Covid-19 sufferers from hospitals into homes that weren’t equipped to care for them, of course.

The question is: why did they put their residents in a situation where they could not avoid catching the disease?

There were more confirmed cases in care homes that hired temporary carers and other staff to cover for absences and in institutions that moved employees from one site to another. Care homes that did not offer staff sick pay had higher rates of infections.

Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in more than half of care homes, where an average of 20 per cent of residents and 7 per cent of staff were thought to have had the virus.

The figures, from the Office for National Statistics, are likely to be an underestimate because they record only residents and staff who tested positive after displaying symptoms not those infected but asymptomatic.

Care homes that did not offer staff sick pay had more infections – because they could not afford to take time off to self-isolate?

Institutions that moved employees from one site to another and hired temporary carers to cover for absences also had more confirmed cases – because these staff members were carrying the virus from one site to another.

Who created such poor conditions of employment?

Who do you think?

Source: Temporary staff drove rise in social care cases | News | The Times

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29,000 deaths later: care home staff and residents to get regular Covid-19 tests

In government, there is an intention behind action – or inaction, as in this case.

To the best of our knowledge, 29,000 people have died of Covid-19 in care homes – many after being transferred out from hospital on the orders of the Conservative government, many after contracting the disease from them.

The Tories said they had thrown a protective ring around care homes before imposing the national lockdown – but that was proved untrue.

And now they say care home staff and residents will receive regular tests – after the testing regime has been proved to be thoroughly useless.

What do you think was the intention behind all these failures and lies?

Staff and residents in care homes in England will receive regular coronavirus tests from next week.

Staff will be tested for coronavirus weekly with tests every 28 for days residents over 65.

The testing policy, which begins on Monday, will also apply to younger patients suffering from dementia.

Any care home dealing with an outbreak, or at increased risk of an outbreak, will be more intensively tested.

Care sector experts say that repeated testing is crucial to containing the virus, following criticism of the government’s handling of the pandemic in residential homes.

Source: Coronavirus: Care home staff and residents to get regular tests – BBC News

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Doctor launches court case against Tories over Covid-19 care home death of her dad

The late Mr Gibson and his daughter Doctor Gardner: she’s taking Matt Hancock to court and he may have met his match.

This is what happens when government policy on Covid-19 cases causes the death of someone related to a doctor.

Cathy Gardner launched a high court claim on Friday (June 12) after her father, Michael Gibson, a retired superintendent of births, marriages and deaths, died in an Oxfordshire care home in early April.

He became infected after a patient who tested positive for the virus was discharged from hospital into the home.

It was Tory policy to send infected care home residents back to their homes, where they would be able to infect other residents in a closed system that meant the virus could spread like wildfire.

They also took no precautions to prevent staff who travelled between homes from spreading the disease from one facility to another.

The request for a judicial review alleges failings “have led to large numbers of unnecessary deaths and serious illnesses” and have been “aggravated by the making of wholly disingenuous, misleading and – in some cases – plainly false statements suggesting that everything necessary has been done to protect care homes during the pandemic”.

Several [families of care home residents] have raised complaints with hospitals and care homes about infection control, including the discharging of Covid-negative residents into homes with outbreaks.

Thirty-five councils have also blamed virus spread on discharges with hospital patients sent to homes that did not have sufficient protective equipment and/or facilities to isolate infected residents.

Other cases include a decision to discharge John Heywood, 83, from Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge into a Peterborough care facility with an outbreak. He contracted the virus and survived, but his family have lodged a formal complaint with Addenbrooke’s.

Wasn’t Addenbrooke’s the site of a PR stunt by Boris Johnson in the run-up to the general election last year? Yes – he was booed out of it. No doubt hospital chiefs will be delighted to have yet another reason to resent Johnson’s presence in Downing Street.

Neither the Department of Health and Social Care nor NHS England are commenting on the case while it is ongoing.

But we’re going to have to keep a close eye on it.

Source: Matt Hancock faces legal action from daughter of Covid-19 care home victim | World news | The Guardian

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Why didn’t Matt Hancock send vulnerable Covid-19 sufferers to Nightingale hospitals rather than care homes?

Care: even the image I’ve been using emphasises the impossibility of social distancing in this context.

It’s a simple enough question.

The London Nightingale hospital opened on April 4 – that’s not such a long time to let a person (who is ill, remember) stay in hospital, is it?

The Nightingale hospitals were provided with facilities specifically for sufferers of Covid-19.

But instead, elderly and vulnerable people were carted off to care homes that did not have such facilities, there to infect many of their fellow residents – along with some staff .

These staff, in turn, moved on to other care homes, where they infected more people who would not have caught the disease if people who had been receiving treatment in hospital had not been shifted out, on the orders of the Conservative government.

The whole situation triggered a spike in excess deaths of at least 31 per cent.

Put that way, the decision looks more like a plan, doesn’t it?

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Tory MPs share doctored video of Starmer in abortive smear attempt

Here’s another tweet by ‘Mad Nad’ Nadine Dorries – which she could now more accurately use to describe herself.

Health minister Nadine Dorries, former Tory vice-chair Maria Caulfield and Lucy Allan have made an abortive attempt to discredit Labour leader Keir Starmer by sharing a misleading video created by far-right activists.

They quote-tweeted a video post that claimed to show Starmer explaining “why he didn’t prosecute grooming gangs”, when in fact he was explaining why he implemented reforms as the Director of Public Prosecutions.

A Labour source said: “This is a doctored video tweeted by far-right social media account. As a government minister, we hope Nadine Dorries acknowledges this and takes it down.”

Dorries and Allan have now deleted their posts, while Caulfield has deleted her Twitter account.

But the real question is how the three Tory MPs obtained the video in the first place: the original Twitter user – whose account is now deleted – has previously shared racist content.

The trio’s decision to post this anti-Starmer propaganda has been questioned by many on the social media, who point to the fact that the new Labour leader had just exposed false claims about Covid-19-related deaths in care homes by Boris Johnson:

(I think he means they’ll be asking anybody who retweeted their falsehood to retweet their apology.)

Perhaps more revealing is the fact that any reference to the prosecution of child grooming allegations in connection with Boris Johnson brings us back to his own – genuine – remarks, that the investigation into historical allegations of child abuse is “spaffing money up the wall” (an extremely unwise comment when one considers the meaning of the word “spaffing”):

So, while we wait for Mad Nad and Loathsome Lucy to delete their accounts, perhaps BoJob would like to explain why he wanted to stop investigations into child sexual abuse?

Source: Tory MPs share doctored video of Starmer promoted by far right – LabourList

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Starmer calls out Johnson over care home ‘inaccuracy’ – who do YOU support?

Boris Johnson: in this old image, he’s got his hand on his mouth to stop himself putting his foot in it.

There are three choices in this situation: either Boris Johnson is a complete imbecile, or he doesn’t care at all, or both.

I say both, personally.

He’s supposed to be trying to convince the nation that he can be trusted to handle the coronavirus crisis, and he tries to lie to us and claim that he imposed lockdown restrictions on care homes – that are currently experiencing a surge of Covid-19 deaths – a day before they were imposed on the rest of us.

Of course they weren’t, and he has been found out.

So what did he do?

Well, it seems he decided to brazen it out and accuse his accuser – Keir Starmer – of lying.

The row erupted during Prime Minister’s Questions. Johnson had already fallen foul of a query about the number of coronvirus-related deaths in care homes in April – 18,000 more than the average for that month, but only 8,000 had been attributed to the virus.

Asked to account for the rest, he could only manage a protestation that there is “much more to do but we are making progress”.

Then Starmer said that, until March 12, care homes were being told it was “very unlikely” anyone would become infected.

Johnson responded: “It wasn’t true the advice said that.”

Starmer disagrees – and he’s got the paperwork to prove it:

The letter states: “The advice I was referring to was published on 25 February 2020. It states: ‘…It is therefore very unlikely that anyone receiving care in a care home or the community will become infected.’

“At this time of national crisis, it is more important than ever that Government ministers are accurate in the information they give. Given this, I expect you to come to the House of Commons at the earliest opportunity to correct the record and to recognise that this was official Government guidance regarding care homes.”

This could be absolutely, excruciatingly humiliating for Johnson.

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If you think the Tories aren’t abusing human rights over coronavirus care home deaths, read this

Dignity: Anne Duncan.

It didn’t take long to find evidence of possible Tory government human rights abuses in care homes.

Here’s the story of Anne Duncan, who faced dying “scared and alone” until her family intervened:

Lawyer Linda Duncan said: “If the Government is going to sacrifice the elderly, they should be transparent about it, and make sure care homes have enough staff qualified to provide dignity and care.”

Linda and son Anton had Anne Duncan, 91, moved from her care home in Edinburgh to the city’s Western General Hospital for her last two days, where the retired teacher was treated with dignity.

Linda and Anton pushed for the move when they learned Anne would not be given oxygen or hydrated.

Elderly Covid-19 ­patients [have been] dying in agony because their care home staff could not provide adequate end-of-life care.

A reminder: Human Rights law says the Government must protect the life of residents and staff in care homes, preventing avoidable deaths. They must also prevent inhuman, degrading treatment.

The Human Rights Act 1998 also imposes an obligation to allow a “good death”, meaning end-of-life care is fundamental.

Source: Mum ‘faced dying scared and alone’ of coronavirus as Government ‘sacrificing’ elderly – Mirror Online

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Discredited Maximus adds care inspections to DWP portfolio


This may be a longshot, but can anybody else detect a stitch-up for care services on the horizon?

Maximus runs assessments for sickness benefit claimants – people who need care. Now it will oversee the management of advice on care in homes and hospitals.

Is it paranoid to see a conflict of interest here?

The source article quotes the chair of one service-user network who said his organisation had not been contacted to work in the new system. That may not be enough to condemn Maximus/Remploy – but who will be carrying out the work.

People with a vested interest in saying what Maximus/Remploy wants to hear?

The care watchdog has been criticised for awarding a discredited outsourcing giant new contracts to manage the use of service-users as expert advisers in care homes and hospitals.

Two-thirds of the new contracts to run Experts by Experience – which pays people with experience of using care services to take part in Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections – have been awarded to Remploy.

Remploy, which will start delivering the Experts by Experience programme on 1 February 2016, was formerly controlled by the UK government but is now mostly owned by the US outsourcing company Maximus, which already has a huge chunk of Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) contracts to provide employment support and assessment services for disabled people.

Since Maximus was awarded the DWP contract to take over provision of its controversial “fitness for work” tests from Atos, activists have repeatedly drawn attention to its troubling history in other countries.

The company has a lengthy record of discrimination, incompetence and alleged fraud in the US and has also been linked with allegations of exploitation and manipulation of government contracts within the Australian welfare-to-work industry.

Source: Discredited Maximus adds care inspections to DWP portfolio

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Grayling’s work placement gravy train rolls on – YOU get nothing

What do you do with a policy that has caused misery for thousands, has harmed the job market, removed jobseekers from work experience that would have led to a decent job and forced them to stack supermarket shelves instead, and actually had a judicial review held against it?

If you’re Chris Grayling, you roll it out in 16 London boroughs – all notable for being sites of the summer riots in 2011.

According to the Evening Standard, Mr Grayling plans to force young unemployed Londoners aged 18-24 to work in charities or care homes for 30 hours a week, while spending another 10 hours a week searching for a proper job, for a 13-week period. The policy will be applied to everybody who has spent less than six months in employment since leaving education; if they don’t agree to it, they’ll lose their £56-per-week Jobseekers’ Allowance.

He denied it was “slave labour” – the common nickname for the Work Placement scheme – instead claiming it would help young Londoners improve their career prospects.

I wonder what it will do for the prospects of people living in care homes who’ll have these inexperienced youngsters put in charge of them. It’ll probably make Winterbourne View care home look civilised – and through no fault of the youngsters being forced to do the work.

Mr Grayling also said it was reasonable for youngsters to be asked to give something to the community before the community gives anything back.

This might be a valid argument, but let’s ask one vital question: Who really gains from these work placement schemes?

The youngsters don’t – all they get is £56 per week and the loss of time that could be spent in voluntary work that will lead to a proper job.

The economy won’t – the jobs these young people will be doing should have proper wages, contracts and conditions of employment attached. This would pump money into the national economy and might actually help get Britain working properly again, but instead we’re seeing a silly publicity stunt from the government.

And the taxpayer won’t benefit either – because the government is using our tax money to fund the scheme. We’re paying for these youngsters to work for organisations that should be offering proper employment to people instead. And if you think all we’re paying is £56 per week, per jobseeker, think again!

If this system is anything like Welfare to Work (and I think it is), then each jobseeker will be sent to a placement by a provider – a private company employed by the government to shoehorn them into a placement. These are the people who will benefit from this scheme. It’s another backhander for Grayling’s fat-cat business buddies.

According to a commenter on my Facebook page (the ‘like’ button is at the top left of this page) “The WTW provider gets a £600 attachment fee. They also get paid fees for “providing support” i.e. bulllying her into doing what THEY want. Later they get an “outcome fee” for making her stay in the minimum wage job of their choice. If she finds something with no help from them, they still pocket the dosh. If she finds training other than their useless ‘courses’ she gets rewarded with a sanction (benefits withheld indefinitely) to ensure compliance.”

Is the reasoning behind this starting to make sense now?

The comment continues: “The job centre sent me to work (unpaid, natch) as a learning support asst with pre-ESOL classes. Six months later the college offered to fund my teacher training. Jobcentre promptly ordered me onto Work Programme. I now belong to Maximus [this will be the WTW provider] for two years. They told me to dump teaching plans and do contract cleaning. I dumped Maximus instead. Now I’ve been sanctioned. The Prime Minister goes on about literacy (which I also intend to teach) but is willing to keep throwing money into the WP to use the unemployed as a commodity. Maximus get to keep the attachment fee, by the way.

“The reason given [for the sanction] was ‘you had opportunities’ meaning the useless, unaccredited courses at À4E. I found a part-time job to help while training and the college want to pay my fares. The jobcentre seems to be under pressure to send people on WP. The Govt line is that the WP is for the ‘feckless workshy’ and the press seems to be colluding in this.”

That last comment is particularly telling, as there’s no mention of any of this in the Standard’s article.