Care Homes

The rate of infection across care homes is now out of control. That is evidenced by the Scottish Government reporting 390 new cases of residents suspected with the virus in care homes in the last 2 days. This is a very large number. And 38 new care homes infected in the last week, now making the cumulative total 585, and 453 care homes with a current infection, a net increase of 24 care homes in just the last week. This means that no care home (with or without a current infection) can now currently be seen as being safe in any risk assessment for any older person to move to. The transmission continues unabated within care homes, which shows just how infectious this virus is. Even in the hospital environment Nicola Sturgeon advised last Friday that the the R factor was likely still more than 1. If one can not stop transmission in a more secure and discrete hospital ward environment, then it will be 10 times more difficult in a care home environment Is it surely time to act. And have an immediate 4 weeks embargo on any new admissions to care homes until the epidemic in care homes is brought under control? This will undoubtedly save lives It would also give the relevant authorities the opportunity to take stock, and try to find ways to intervene that might work to arrest the transmission, including looking hard at measures to reduce transmission into the care homes from people other than residents.

Why the contribution is important

The situation in care homes could not be more urgent. Stopping admissions for 4 weeks will save lives.

by rlaing on May 06, 2020 at 05:55PM

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  • Posted by Heathfielder May 08, 2020 at 08:25

    The issue of Covid hotspots in care homes was identified very early in this pandemic yet we appear to be no closer to solving it. Presumably there have been regular inspections and audits carried out, with findings and recommendations, yet we appear to be no closer to solving it. Presumably there has been further training, assessment and monitoring of staff, yet we appear to be no closer to solving it. Presumably there has been increased testing of staff and residents, yet we are still no closer to solving it. Presumably there has been increased clinical support, guidance and input, yet we are still no closer to solving it. Presumably there has been risk assessments carried out to cover all activities, yet we are still no closer to solving it. Presumably hygiene and isolation guidance is being followed, yet still we are no closer to solving it. What has yet to be implemented, that can impact on the transmissions? Any movement of residents in/out of care homes is ‘clinically driven’ due to vulnerability and fragility considerations. However when infection continues to spread, more deaths are resulting directly from that and the bottom line is a life or death call, then basic hierarchy principles of risk assessment suggest a clear choice! Either move infected residents out of the care home to stricter isolation e.g. to hospitals, or move uninfected residents out to temporary alternative accommodation. If the at risk population of a hotspot is removed from the hazard, then the infection can’t spread!
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