Remind me, who is responsible for infection control procedures in privately owned care homes where Glen Campbell says there have been ‘MASS DEATHS?’

At the Coronavirus update from the First Minister today we saw a two-pronged attack from BBC Scotland’s Glen Campbell and Sky’s Jim Matthews.

Campbell said:

‘Can you update us on the prevalence of covid-19 in our care homes and explain why we’ve been unable to prevent mass deaths in some care homes?’

‘Mass deaths?’ Really? Isn’t that a bit tasteless Glen, a bit melodramatic? Don’t we tend to use that word for Nazi Death Camps or the Killing Fields of Cambodia? At the last count (15th April) there were around 250 care home deaths and perhaps as many as 25 ‘in some’, as Campbell puts it. We’ll get more up-to-date figures from the NRS tomorrow but I feel sure it’ll be fewer than that required for the adjective ‘mass.’

Matthews said:

Given the situation in care homes was foreseen. The dangers were foreseen, how would you rate your government’s performance on the prevention of deaths in care homes given the figures we have coming out of care homes? Sixteen in a care home in Dumbarton just yesterday. How would you rate your performance?’

Was the situation foreseen? Really? Did Matthews foresee anything?

On January 24th, the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, coming out of a COBRA meeting told reporters the risk to the UK public was ‘low.’ Then, throughout February the level was kept to ‘moderate.’ Did Matthews or any MSM journalist foresee then what was to happen? Did he say anything at the time?

I’ve checked and see no sign of him having foreseen anything at all to do with coronavirus and certainly not to with care homes. How would you rate his performance?

Finally, is the owner of a private care home not responsible for infection control?

Sensitive to the particular patients they care for and profit from, might they have foreseen the risk and escalated their procedures? A disturbing report in the Guardian notes that deaths in English private home were tripling in private homes:

I note that the headline reports of several, not mass, deaths in Scottish care homes reported in the media are all privately-owned:

  1. Berelands House Prestwick, Priory Adult Care – 16.
  2. Tranent Care Home, HC-One – 9
  3. Burlington Court Care Home, Glasgow, Four Seasons – 16
  4. Castleview Care Home, Dumbarton, HC-One – 8
  5. Almond Court care home, Drumchapel, Holmes Care – 11
  6. Meigle Country House, Angus – 1

The Glasgow Times spoke to one Holmes Care employee:

A 51-year-old employee who works at the neighbouring Almond View care home raised concerns about the company’s adherence to social distancing rules and the supply of personal protective equipment. The care worker, who did not wish to be named, said that she had observed taxis taking workers to Almond Court.

This was by no means an exhaustive survey but I can find no state-owned facility mentioned.

9 thoughts on “Remind me, who is responsible for infection control procedures in privately owned care homes where Glen Campbell says there have been ‘MASS DEATHS?’”

  1. I have no knowledge of the commercial care home sector. However, it takes no time at all to find online a whole host of information – rules, regulations, codes of practice, advice and guidance, equipment specifications, training material etc. – made available to care homes from public bodies and from sector representative and support organisations.

    These demonstrate clearly that critical to this highly regulated sector is infection detection, monitoring and control – and this has been the case long, long before Coronavirus appeared.

    Being expert in the care of vulnerable people living in close proximity, who have underlying health conditions, and are prone to infection is – and is expected to be – a core competence of all care homes. So in short, an outbreak of an infection in a care home setting is always, daily, a possibility and the need to be able to manage and control it is ‘always foreseeable’ – or should be. This appears to be an ongoing, relentless challenge: an infection as virulent as Conoravirus must make operational procedures even more difficult.

    As an example, the details in the document at the link below is, for someone like me with no prior knowledge or real awareness of the operational challenges involved, quite ‘remarkable’:

    Click to access Care-home-resource-18-February-2013.pdf

    So IF the long built body of knowledge and know-how in the care home sector and its surrounding heath support system have indeed failed the current challenge – and if in ways that should have been avoidable – then lessons must be learned and transferred into better practice. However, this context does help put into perspective the ‘easily devised’ questions to the FM posed by these journalists.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Raking it in , raking it in , responsibly for these deaths of course is the Scottish government’s fault. Why are these care homes not being brought to boot , where do their big profits go , are they not providing basic protection to their clients that pay a heck of a lot of money to live there , let’s stop pussyfooting around this issue, why do they need government help ! .

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Just watched BBC reporting Scotland
    Skewing the deaths in care homes
    They filmed outside a private care home in St.Andrews with 2 members of the caring staff on the stairs outside and here what i witnessed
    1.they were wearing no PPE despite having received a free gratis delivery of such from St.Andrews uni.
    2 Both staff were not observing social distancing rules and were no more than 300 mm.apart of the staff without PPE gloves continually touched and rubbed the adjacent metal hand rail
    Questions 1.why oh why did the BBC continue to film in these circumstances
    2. Who is the H&S officer responsible for that care home
    3.Who is responsible for the Training of these staff
    4.let us see the issued and signed by both employer and employee of the care homes H&S policy as LAW
    5.let us see the risk assessment as reqd by LAW and the requisites actions reqd.and implemented by those responsible
    If such a risk was ever to arise during a construction contract and a death occurred then i assure HSE would be on top of it like a ton of bricks and heads WOULD roll
    By default the BBC are complicit in this
    By indirectly and for very dubious reasons
    Allowing such to occur
    They were well and truly flying with the crows here,in their lust and unbridled race to portray us in a very bad light
    I consider what i witnessed to be a criminal act in the event of a death in this care home and tantamount to aiding and abetting murder
    Ignorance is never a excuse under the law
    And can NEVER be used as a defence

    Liked by 4 people

  4. “.but I can find no state-owned facility mentioned.”

    Glen! Are you listening? You’re asking the First Minister the wrong bloody question.

    Waken up and make a proper job of the work you were expensively trained to do – and, while you are at it, try to encourage your media colleagues to do the same. Drop the doctrinaire negativity – you’ll feel better within yourself and secure benefit to your long-term mental well-being.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. the 6 o’clock news from the BBC tonight ended their care home article with, ” in Scotland and Wales the position is much worse” . I’m not sure that’s true, and it’s strange because I’ve never heard them say the position in Scotland is much better, in relation to hospitals.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. HPS Health Protection Scotland sent out guidelines for care home at the beginning of March. We are now at version 1.7 of these guidelines – changing to reflect new knowledge about spread of the virus. Owners of care homes should have taken action 7 weeks ago but either didn’t know (unacceptable – it is their job to know) or didn’t want to follow the advice.

    Liked by 3 people

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