Tag Archives: resident

If Tories really regret not testing for Covid-19 in care homes – is it because they were caught?

Test: A Covid-19 test. The Tory government failed to secure enough of these – so it seems ministers deliberately decided to sacrifice care home residents to the disease.

The Conservative government made a conscious decision not to test for Covid-19 in care homes – while the disease was ripping through elderly and vulnerable residents.

That is what we’re hearing from inJustice Secretary Robert Buckland.

He says that, after ensuring that the UK would not have the capacity to test everybody who should have had tests, and while sending people who were known to be infected with Covid-19 back to care homes from hospital, the government decided not to test anybody there for the disease. It seems they were too busy testing people like Matt Hancock instead.

And he also says, “We’ve seen a great tragedy in our care homes which is a matter of huge regret.”

Okay – much of what has gone above is me reading between the lines. But you have to do that with Tories because they don’t give you all the information you need.

For example: is it “a matter of huge regret” that there has been “a great tragedy in our care homes”?

Or is it just regrettable that the public has “seen” it?

Don’t let yourself be fooled; if they could have covered up the excess deaths, that is what the Tories would have done – indeed, it is what they were trying to do.

The choices were all deliberate, though.

And they have resulted in at least 20,000 fewer people (so far) claiming pensions.

That is a huge saving for a Conservative government that hates paying money to the plebs – even though they know that we pay into the pension fund for this very purpose.

At the end of the day, we’re still left with two choices: either the Tories have been incompetent, in which case they should be removed from a position of power…

Or they have been homicidal, in which case they should be removed from society and spend the rest of their lives in prison.

Source: Top Tory admits government ‘chose’ not to test in care homes – and deaths a ‘huge regret’ – Mirror Online

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Blame game: Tories try to shift responsibility for sending Covid-19 into care homes – and fail

Care: the Tories don’t.

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?

Source: Agency staff were spreading Covid-19 between care homes, PHE found in April | World news | The Guardian

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Tory post-Brexit residence scheme for EU citizens shows they’ve learned NOTHING from Windrush

The Empire Windrush brought many people to the UK to help rebuild the country after World War II. If it was still in service, the Tories would be trying to use it to deport EU citizens.

Those racists in the Conservative government think we all have really short memories, don’t they?

Their colleagues and cronies at the Home Office have unveiled a new “EU Settlement Scheme” for citizens of the European Union who want to continue living and/or working in the UK after Brexit – and it looks startlingly – shockingly – Windrushy. I hope you understand what I mean by that.

Applicants under the scheme will have to provide proof of their own identity, proof that they live in the UK, and proof that they do not have a criminal record.

And it will cost them up to £65 to provide this information to a government that should have it all already.

Perhaps the Home Office destroyed it, along with the documents that would have saved thousands of the Windrush generation from deportation.

Here’s the Home Office’s tweet on the subject:

It seems clear these Tory racists have learned nothing from the Windrush scandal.

They see Brexit as an opportunity to humiliate Johnny (and Jane) Foreigner – make them leap through hoops for the dubious benefit of staying in a country that is about to fall off an economic cliff, thanks to the result of a referendum designed to end discord in their own bigoted, minority-interest party and their own ineptitude at any kind of negotiations (including Theresa May’s failure to negotiate her way out of a car door at one point) thereafter.

And they see it as an opportunity to deport anybody who fails to provide this information and/or cough up the cash.

Charming.

The social media have reacted appropriately. Here‘s Liisa Smith: “How disgraceful. I’ve been living here for nearly 18 years as a tax-paying resident and this is how the UK government treats people. It makes me sick.”

John Clarke tweeted for many when he wrote: “The Tories shame us all.”

As Rachael Swindon elaborated, the scheme is “horrific, cynical, threatening and unnecessary. They promised to learn the lessons of the hostile environment policy, and lied once again.”

Labour MP David Lammy added: “Shame. What a way to treat our neighbours, friends, family and partners from Europe. King Herod would be proud Theresa May. Screw this shit.” Strong words for an MP, but appropriate, perhaps.

But what do EU-born residents make of it all? The answer is: Not a lot.

Peter Stefanovic stated: “As the son of an immigrant and part of a European family I can honestly say this breaks my heart.”

And Stewart Wood told us: “Just told my 83-year old German mum, who has lived here since 1964, that she’ll have to go through (& pay for) this process – to prove to the Home Office who she is, & that she’s not a criminal. I tried hard, but couldn’t really explain why. It’s an awful stain on our country.”

That it is – by which I mean, obviously, the Conservative government is an awful stain on our country.

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Remember Winterbourne View? It seems care workers are starting to abuse patients again

Smiling: Craig Dann.

Remember this when a government minister tells you “lessons have been learned” after a failure in a duty of care: It only takes about six years to forget them again.

Remember the physical and psychological abuse suffered by people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour at the Winterbourne View care home in Bristol?

Lessons were learned after that – and the head of the Care Quality Commission resigned – but it seems abuse is rearing its ugly head at care homes once again.

The following is from the Liverpool Echo – click on the link below for further details of Craig Dann’s abusive behaviour.

I wonder if he was as shocked at the Winterbourne View revelations as the rest of us? Did he ever think he would become an abuser himself?

A smiling care worker was jailed today after grabbing an elderly dementia sufferer by the throat.

Craig Dann also pinned the frightened resident against a door in a spate of aggressive incidents that saw him cruelly mistreat numerous people.

The 36-year-old was described as “unsuited to care work” when he repeatedly lost his temper with vulnerable residents, in front of other staff members.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Dann… had been working at The Old Vicarage residential home in Burtonwood, on a wing which accommodates dementia sufferers.

Dann… was convicted of five offences of ill treatment and one of common assault and jailed for eight months.

He has also been banned from working with such vulnerable adults.

Source: Smiling care worker grabbed elderly dementia sufferer by the throat and pinned him against door – Liverpool Echo

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Survivors of Grenfell Tower are trying to commit suicide. Why?

Grief: Firefighters found it hard to keep themselves together as they dealt with the tragedy at Grenfell Tower. How much worse would it have been for residents? [Image: PA].

It may come as scant surprise to you that people who survived the inferno at Grenfell Tower are so troubled by it – and its aftermath – that they are trying to end their own lives.

Survivors’ guilt is a well-documented phenomenon.

But there is also the issue of the treatment these people received after the tragedy – from the public services that are supposed to exist to help victims of such terrible events.

Can anyone say Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council has acted well in this matter? I can’t.

Claiming a network of support is available does not amount to a resounding show of succour in these people’s time of need.

At least 20 survivors and witnesses of the Grenfell Tower fire have attempted suicide, a support network has said.

Silence of Suicide founder Yvette Greenway told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme the number was based on conversations with residents.

Campaign group Justice4Grenfell said those working with survivors had heard of 20 suicide attempts, but the BBC has been unable to verify the figure.

A network of support is available, Kensington and Chelsea Council said.

Source: Grenfell Tower: ‘Twenty suicide attempts’ since fire – BBC News


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Nailed! Czech minister’s immigration tweet belongs on #CameronMustGo

A battle won: Tomas Prouza's tweet that killed Cameron's credibility on immigration.

A battle won: Tomas Prouza’s tweet that killed Cameron’s credibility on immigration.

He’s had a rotten week but that’s no reason to sympathise with David Cameron.

It is the result of years of bad decisions and many hope that he continues to have similar rotten weeks in the future.

The last nail in the coffin came – appropriately – from Europe. Cameron’s had one disappointment after another from the continent this week, ranging from the revelation that his Home Secretary has been hiding the facts about immigration to the revelation that the number of foreigners coming to the UK has increased since his Coalition government came to office.

Yesterday (Friday), Cameron hoped to turn the tide with a hard-hitting speech proposing that the influx of immigrants might be slowed by a pledge that they would only be allowed to claim benefits after they had been in the UK for four years.

We can only imagine Cameron’s pride at having outlined a solution – as we can only imagine what he felt when the Czech Republic’s Europe Minister, Tomas Prouza, responded by posting a picture of Czech pilots serving in the RAF during the Second World War, with the message: “These Czechs ‘worked’ in the #UK for less than four years. No benefits for them?”

You can read more in the Huffington Post‘s article.

Cameron came to office promising to bring immigration down – “no ifs, no buts”. Now, according to that news medium, his words are “dead and buried”.

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Dire day for Tories – so why were the pundits hammering Labour?

[Image: BBC]

[Image: BBC]

Own up: How many of you stayed up into the wee hours to watch TV coverage of the local council elections?

If you did, you would have witnessed a curious phenomenon. As the Conservative Party lost seat after seat (at the time of writing they have lost 113 seats altogether) and Labour won seat after seat (currently 125 seats better-off), the pundits sitting around David Dimbleby on BBC1 started telling us this put Labour in the poor position!

This, we were told, was because UKIP’s performance heralded the arrival of “four-party politics” – but does anybody believe that? UKIP won protest votes against the UK Coalition government’s policies at a time when elections to the European Parliament were also taking place. Anti-immigration feelings have been stirred up and people have been led to believe – wrongly – that a vote for UKIP will cut off the flow.

In fact, UKIP did damage Labour in areas like Swindon, where they took working-class votes and enabled the Conservatives to hold that council with a slightly increased majority.

But the ‘Purple Peril’ did far more damage to the Conservatives, with Essex Man and Woman voting very strongly for it.

What does this mean, translated to the Westminster Parliament?

The answer is, it’s difficult to judge. Turnout was only around 36 per cent – half the number who take part in a general election – because faith in democracy is so low. This means any predictions are more likely to be wrong than right.

But if the results are replicated, then the Conservative Party will lose seats to UKIP and it is possible that Labour will become the majority party in a Hung Parliament, and then…

… UKIP will do a coalition deal with the Conservatives because Nigel Farage wants a taste of power, and we’ll end up with five more years of David Cameron.

We know they’re already talking about it because Michael Gove has denied it.

To avoid this, Labour will have to consolidate its gains and show that it can make a real difference where it wins.

A good start would be to cut the harmful social policies in Hammersmith and Fulham, which Labour took from the Tories last night. H&F was once dubbed David Cameron’s favourite council. Why? Well, a recent Guardian article showed that the council was selling off its housing stock at an increasingly accelerated rate, while forcing homeless people into temporary accommodation outside the borough. Ending this wrong-headed nonsense would be a good start.

The new Labour administration could re-examine the planned closure of Sulivan Primary School in Fulham, which won an award from London Mayor Boris Johnson at the end of last year after it “succeeded against the odds in improving pupils’ aspirations and achievements”. According to The Guardian (again), campaigners fighting to save Sulivan say it has been targeted because there are plans to turn the site into a new Free School, part of Michael Gove’s silly pet project that has been haemorrhaging money.

And Labour could halt the Earls Court Project redevelopment scheme, which will knock down elderly residents homes – buildings which are perfectly sound – in order to replace them with “impossibly expensive” flats.

The Guardian (yet again) states: “To the Tories of H&F, though, such things are of no value if there’s more money to be made from tearing them up, clearing them out, knocking them down… The council and its friends do not see what they are doing as wrecking. They see themselves as grand creators. They see those they would push aside not as citizens to be considered but non-believers, blockages, impediments; as inefficiencies that have to be squeezed out.”

Labour would score hugely if it took a stand against this merciless money-driven destruction of a neighbourhood that belongs to ordinary people. Elderly people, in fact. Not only are they vulnerable; they are also voters.

So let Hammersmith & Fulham become the example Labour holds up to the nation: “This is what we can do across the country, if you only give us the chance!”

One thing’s for sure – whatever Labour does there, The Guardian will be watching!

Results are still incoming from the council elections, so undoubtedly the ‘expert’ opinions will change before the end – and then we have the European election results to come on Sunday.

A quick anecdote about that: Yesterday evening Yr Obdt Srvt was at a meeting on a completely different subject (a local festival here in Mid Wales – I’m the organising committee’s secretary). Afterwards I was chatting with a friend about the election when a young man approached us in search of the nearest polling station.

My friend passed on the directions and the man thanked us and started on his way. “Don’t vote UKIP!” shouted my friend.

“I won’t!” was the response.

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How can we believe the government’s ‘health tourism’ statistics?

"It's my policy and I'll cry if I want to" - or is Jeremy *unt simply responding to criticism of his bid to climb on the anti-immigration bandwagon?

“It’s my policy and I’ll cry if I want to” – or is Jeremy *unt simply responding to criticism of his bid to climb on the anti-immigration bandwagon?

A speech by Iain Duncan Smith is immediately reminiscent of a wasp negotiating its way through a bulldog’s digestive system; there’s a lot of droning and implied pain, but through it all you know exactly what the outcome will be.

From this starting point, one may liken a speech by Jeremy Hunt to a hippo having an unhappy bowel movement as a result of an unwise dietary choice; much clumsy blundering in the wilderness and a fair amount of distress – which may be transferred to any poor creature unlucky enough to get in the way.

It seems that migrants and visitors from abroad who use the NHS are now facing the full onslaught of the Health Secretary’s metaphorical indigestion, with nary a bucket of Rennie in sight – except in this case the cure would be a set of reliable statistics covering the use of NHS services by our foreign-born friends.

Armed with new reports by independent firms Prederi and Creative Research, the Health Secretary (and well-known misprint) believes ‘health tourism’ is costing the NHS £2 billion every year – and has announced that he plans to claw back around £500 million of that money.

A BBC report states that ministers believe some of the spending is unavoidable but “it would be realistic to save a quarter. Savings would come from deterring so-called health tourism, recovering money owed by other countries and a levy on non-European temporary residents”.

But the cost of health tourism, as set out in the report, is tiny – at a maximum of £80 million it would be four per cent of the estimated total loss – and this is based on evidence which even one of the reports’ authors, Prederi, have admitted is incomplete. On its own, it could not possibly generate the saving demanded by the new policy, nor could it justify the claim that £2 billion is currently being lost.

That is not the point, though. This is about getting the NHS on the anti-immigration bandwagon.

The study has been released to coincide with the Immigration Bill, which (surprise, surprise) includes plans for a £200-per-person-per-year charge for temporary migrants to use the NHS during any stay lasting between six months and five years.

The Conservative-led Coalition government says this could recoup around £200 million per year, but this is clearly nonsense.

Put yourself in the position of a person from abroad, considering an extended stay in the UK. If an extra cost of up to £1,000 for a five-year stay was added to the trip, out of the blue, would you go ahead with it? Or would you consider other destinations?

Alternatively, if the trip could not be avoided, would this not make you more likely to use the NHS, in order to simply get your money’s worth? The trouble with this is that such a person would not know the cost of a consultation. According to Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the British Medical Association’s GPs committee, the cost of a single hospital outpatient appointment would equal the £200-per-year levy.

And then there is the administration cost. New Statesman revealed that the chair of the Royal College of GPs, Claire Gerada, has warned that the cost of administrating the new system could outweigh the savings, while also increasing public health problems such as TB by deterring temporary migrants from seeking treatment when they first fall ill. This gives rise to the possibility that we are facing another Tory policy that could have deadly consequences for the population.

This is not a plan to deal with health tourism at all. This is an attempt by an increasingly-desperate Conservative Party to claw back some of the voters who have (themselves) migrated to UKIP because of fears that have been planted in their minds by political spin-doctors, rather than any real threat – the phantom problem of immigrants getting benefits they haven’t earned.

Health tourism is not costing the UK £2 billion a year, and the measures outlined by the government will not stop it, or save any lost money. If anything, it will cost the country millions of pounds.

But then, when has Jeremy Hunt bothered with the facts, when he can have his way simply by playing on people’s fears and manipulating their beliefs?

This is why reference was made, at the top of this article, to Iain Duncan Smith – another Tory minister who won’t let thousands of possible deaths interfere with his beliefs.