We heard this from Gordon Brewer this morning:
There is also a view. It was put by one columnist in a newspaper this morning very bluntly that at the beginning of this there was an understandable desire to clear out acute wards in hospitals in order to make room for what was expected to be a possible overwhelming surge in coronavirus patients and that in effect elderly people were dumped out of hospitals into care homes! Now there is a letter from NHS England but that wouldn’t apply up here which talked about getting 30% clear-out rates in hospitals. Did that happen here? Was there a spike in admissions to care homes in the middle of March?
Responding to the strategy of preventing acute care from being overwhelmed, in March 2020, only 1 171 people were delayed in being discharged from Scottish hospitals. In February, 1 627 had been delayed. So an additional 456 had been accelerated out of the hospitals and into care of some kind.
Even if we agree that all of those ‘extra’ 456 were then admitted into care homes rather than, for example, into their own or family homes, there were around 32 000 older people already in care homes (2017 census was 32 691) making this a ‘spike’ of only 1.4%. There are 916 care homes for the elderly in Scotland, so the average increase would have been 2 new residents requiring a period of isolation until the second test result came in.
I think that’s that scare story ‘put to bed.’