Priority testing to ALL Carers at start of pandemic

As it is more likely for those with COVID19 to be admitted to ICU (due to Vulnerability/ high risk of severe illness and/or requiring additional support to enable recovery,) then those staff directly involved with patients, inc ICU & Lab staff, ambulance staff, staff in care homes, and people providing care in the community (paid/unpaid) should have all been tested when initially alerted to the pandemic. All these people should have received priority testing without symptoms existing, I

Why the contribution is important

These are the “front line workers” dealing with those most at risk so it’s essential they are not carriers of the virus so we can save lives. Care at home may not have been in place prior to the pandemic so family members step into this role. Testing has not been avail to reduce the risks, nor had any form of PPE been made avail for anyone involved. With shops /suppliers then closed where are these then avail from? The advice is to “Stay at home if symptoms exist” so its important to have knowledge around the selection criteria for who qualified for testing so we know why certain groups were priorities over the actual “front line workers“ involved in care and those experiencing symptoms. To have true facts around exact figures then ALL patients should be tested & recorded otherwise minimises the severity and seriousness of the virus, although this would contradict the statement about having a “lower mortality rate” than a HICD when otherwise there is alleged to be a lack of information avail re the virus, it appears. by non testing was a decision made to reduce the numbers recorded so lockdown measures could be eased earlier with a priority given to the financial impact on the economy instead of trying to save lives & reduce the deaths as a result of the virus. I believe that anyone with symptoms should be tested and/or then admitted if in any of the 2 groups stated at risk. isolated, (regardless of symptoms) then should be monitored/treated as required. (as stated when a HICD) this would provide better protection, reduce the virus spreading to everyone else in the household too, especially when they too are likely to belong to one of these groups. This also puts them in situations of having to provide some care to others positive for virus. People could also return to work quicker if not having to provide unpaid care to family. Specialist treatment team could have been identified due to return of qualified NHS workers, reductions locally in GP appts avail & cancellation of non-emergency appts/clinics at hospitals. Staff could then remain on wards & depts in hospitals as needed. This would support the seriousness of the virus, justify the lockdown rules & allow people to have trust and confidence in those with power to make these decisions. There is currently nothing different with COVID19 compared to other viruses (eg hospital admission, treatment/care provided etc) which may have been the cause for people not following restrictions in the lockdown period. Clear guidelines & boundaries are essential to successfully manage any situation. Unclear info & unnecessary changes in the process (as well as breaches by others) has only resulted in different perceptions of meanings and conduct considered a poor/mismanagement. Fear has increased among people especially elderly & added/increased stress to family members worrying about returning to work as well as their needs in caring. Despite claims of staff shortages, I agreed to return to care work & SSSC carried out disclosure but since becoming unemployed on 21/4/2020 no employer has made contact to offer a position or requestEd my assistance to provide care in the community so this does not reflect demands currently on health & social care.

by Keira69 on May 10, 2020 at 09:42PM

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  • Posted by jeankemp May 10, 2020 at 23:50

    The initial abandonment of WHO advice in Scotland regarding testing has taken its toll on Care workers, but with the reintroduction of limited testing again it is good to see that these dedicated workers will be better protected. BUT the testing programme now planned by the Scottish Government is still not enough and in order to eliminate the virus testing needs to be carried out deep within the community, at a very local level.
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