Activists' anger after watchdog supports ministers' "abhorrent" care home COVID policyArchived Message
Posted by sashimi on October 23, 2020, 8:55 am
By John Pring
(quote) Disabled activists have attacked the care watchdog for supporting an "abhorrent" government policy that will again see older and disabled people who have been infected with coronavirus being discharged from hospitals into residential homes.
Early in the pandemic, hospital patients were discharged into care homes without being tested for COVID-19, which is believed to have caused the loss of thousands of lives.
Ahead of an expected surge in winter cases, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has now decided that patients in England who are set to be discharged from hospital into a care home with a positive COVID-19 test result will first have to be admitted to a "designated setting".
They will have to be cared for there until the end of their isolation period.
Some of these designated settings will be "stand-alone units" where only service-users with coronavirus will be admitted.
But others will be care homes "with separate zoned accommodation and staffing" for service-users with coronavirus.
Other parts of those homes will be occupied by residents who have not been infected with the virus.
This means that some older and disabled service-users who are not yet infected could again be exposed to the risk of catching COVID-19.
Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, said the policy was "utterly unacceptable and must be stopped".
She said that thousands of older and disabled people in care homes had "needlessly died due to the reckless mishandling of the pandemic by government, from the lack of adequate personal protective equipment, the wrongful imposition of DNRs [do not resuscitate orders], as well as the murderous discharge of infected patients into these homes.
"Now we find that this scenario is not only going to be repeated but actually supported by CQC, in spite of the fact that it is known the spread of the virus in such enclosed communities is rapid.