steel city scribblings
“Clapping for the NHS but spreading the one thing that’s stressing them out while breaking the one rule they’ve asked you to abide by, bloody geniuses,”
“I mean the whole clapping thing is just grating now anyway when all us keyworkers and carers are not getting PPE, a test and better pay and a fair working contract,” wrote one user, to which another replied with as much pith as they could muster: “They got badges mate”
“Social distance except on a Thursday at 8pm.”
“What was the government’s strategy for dealing with nursing homes? It has been, up until the last couple of days, to make things even worse. The instructions from the Department of Health have been to send patients diagnosed with Covid out of hospital, and back into care homes, with instructions to “barrier nurse” them, a term for a set of stringent infection-control techniques. Care homes have been informed that they cannot refuse to take the residents back.
All of which means that the staff end up attempting to barrier nurse Covid positive patients with flimsy surgical masks, no eye protection, no gowns and gloves that, in my case, disintegrate rapidly and are almost completely useless. Until very recently, nursing home staff, in many homes, were told not to wear masks, and this was true even when there were Covid positive patients in the home…..
The focus, the entire focus, has been to clear patients out of hospitals, waiting for the deluge of patients. This has been so effective that, in my area of Macclesfield in Cheshire, the local hospitals have never been so empty.
There are wards with no patients in them. The shiny new Nightingale hospital in London, with four thousand beds, apparently had just nineteen patients in it last weekend. Yet still the pressure still comes down: get patients out of hospital and back into care homes.
At the same time, all the effective personal protective equipment (PPE) has been directed to hospitals and hospital wards. Care homes have been almost unable to access anything. I scavenge what I can before I visit. I keep being told that things have improved. By those who haven’t seen a patient – or the inside of a care home – for years.
I have also watched patients go down very rapidly and die. Covid is a strange disease that kills people in a way that I have never witnessed before. In some cases, very quickly. I have tried to suggest that hospitals are the best place to look after potentially infectious people, not care homes. No-one has been interested.
Now, of course, the disaster is unfolding. The entirely predictable disaster. Here, from The Guardian:
‘Care home leaders have accused the government of vastly underestimating the deaths of elderly people from coronavirus, as they warned the disease may be circulating in more than 50% of nursing homes and mortality is significantly higher than official figures.
Operators of several large care providers accused the government of not paying enough attention to the tragedy unfolding in residential settings across England, as figures from three of the largest chains show 620 deaths from Covid-19 in recent weeks.’
In one care home where I visit, they recently had eight deaths in seven days. Were these Covid deaths? Who knows for sure. No-one was tested. No-one is tested. The staff are not tested. I have patients who have died quickly. What do I put on the death certificate? Covid? Well I cannot, not really, because I have no idea if they had Covid or not.”
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