In the Herald today:
THE media is full of lynch mobs baying for blood over Holyrood’s decision to relocate hundreds of elderly bed-blockers from NHS hospitals to private care homes, apparently taking with them Covid-19. No matter how one tries to dress it up, the outcome has been disastrous. But wait. These poor souls didn’t need, nor probably want, to be stuck in hospital; they caught the disease while they were in hospital, not when out in the community. The problem was not that they were decanted into care homes in the midst of a pandemic, but that it wasn’t done long before that. They were unnecessarily put at risk by being in hospital. What the shambles does illustrate is the chronic problem of bed-blocking in the NHS and the continual juggling that has to be done by “bed managers” and the concomitant “clinician huddles” that have become the norm in our hospitals simply because of staff shortages and insufficient inpatient beds.
I know, it’s just a letter and it’s a free country, but the selection of which letters to publish, also reveals an agenda.
‘They caught the disease while they were in hospital, not when out in the community‘
There is no basis in evidence for this statement. All we have is anecdotal evidence, from the owner of the group, of one patient who may have entered a Balhousie Care Group home while perhaps already infected.
Public Health England, in May, and now the charitable provider BHA, today, have made clear that the overwhelming evidence is for agency staff who picked it up in their communities or on public transport, to have spread the virus in their visits to several care homes and homes in the community.
‘What the shambles does illustrate is the chronic problem of bed-blocking in the NHS‘
Two quick responses:
Bed blocking 10 times higher per head of population in NHS England than in NHS Scotland!
NHS Scotland’s supply of beds far more ‘resilient’ than that in Johnson’s NHS England