First Minister: Care homes were warned to isolate discharged patients

Nicola Sturgeon defends handling of coronavirus crisis in care homes

Echoing a comment by Health Secretary Freeman in a briefing some months ago, the First Minister has laid down a marker for any forthcoming inquiry.

Care home owners were clearly advised to isolate new arrivals and will not be allowed to wriggle out of their responsibilities to try to transfer guilt onto hospital staff or Scottish Government advisers.

Responding, today, to opposition parties clamouring for an inquiry which they hope will criticise the hospital discharges, we heard:

Like me, many readers have wondered why the isolation of new arrivals or of any residents showing symptoms seemed to be particularly challenging or novel for care homes with qualified staff on site and decades of experience in infection control during annual flu and Norovirus outbreaks.

When care home owners began to criticise guidance or to demand new versions of it, I think we could all smell their fear of being exposed for their callous incompetence. When the GMB and the opposition parties joined them in an unholy alliance to blame the Health Secretary, the naked politicising of mass deaths became clear.

Readers will also, by now, be aware of three extensive research studies making clear that the primary responsibility for the outbreaks in care homes lies in the reliance on agency staff:

10 thoughts on “First Minister: Care homes were warned to isolate discharged patients

  1. And there we have it–“isolate your vulnerable discharged patients for two weeks”.

    Did the care sector do it?
    Have “journalists” asked them?
    Did I really write journalists? More fool me!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They simply will not go there.

      These are in many cases big multi-national organisations, and their main shareholders are part of the financial class which funded Brexit and who make donations to the main political parties. They also are part of the small group which owns most of the media.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The conduct of the GMB in this is disgraceful and they are selling their members down the river in the same way as the trade unions colluded with the Labour run Glasgow City Council administration to deprive large numbers of female employees the proper rate for the job.

    The main culprits in Scotland are people like Mr Gary Smith and Ms Rhea Wolfson, both of whom are active in the Scottish Labour Party.

    When next year’s elections come along and a likely second referendum of independence, the Labour British Nationalists will be reliant on Scotland in Union and its backers to fund their campaign and their advertising. And, who is one of the main donors? A certain Mr Kilgour one of whose business interests is ….. care homes!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is not the best advice and judgement that was universally available which is under scrutiny here but a brazen PR campaign to sully SG.
    The Care-Home sector in England were abandoned to carry the can while in Scotland every media outlet appears set on attributing blame to SG, while by sheer coincidence, Robot Kilgour and Poison Pennington collude to NOT examine real cause and effect for political and financial advantage.
    Is there possibly a link ?
    Do Pacifier Quay, Kilgour, Pennington et al not realise Scots have learned to smell Snake-Oil at a minimum of a kilometer through decades of exposure ? Sunk and his fellow Tories already know this, avoid or at worst stay downwind of the natives, fridges are airtight…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t recall any care homes in Scotland raising concerns about their abilities to isolate residents.

    Interesting things given in evidence to this HoC Committee by Ms Comas-Herrera and others mainly, I think about English care homes. Lessons for us, too.

    “Barbara Keeley: Following on with quite a small point, are you saying that perhaps each local authority area might need an isolation step-down facility so that care homes could manage that isolation?

    Adelina Comas-Herrera: Ideally, yes. If I were to design it, I would have a national taskforce and I would make sure that there was resource so that each care home had some technical support and understanding of what they needed. It could be communicated through the local authority, and they could say how much extra capacity they think they would require. That is how I would see it.”


    1. This touches on an aspect of the care home saga that has not been given much consideration. Where Care Homes did isolate, or attempt to isolate, these patients it seems their staff were not sufficiently trained in barrier nursing and how to prevent cross infection ie carrying the infection from the patient(s) in isolation to other locations in the homes and infecting other patients.

      In one of the news items on Ch4 News covering the deaths in care homes, Ciaran Jenkins interviewed one of the staff in a care home where the patients from hospital were isolated as per the guidelines. The staff member was saying he could not understand how the infection had got from one patient to another when the patient was in isolation and only staff were dealing with the patient. As he said that you could almost see the ‘light-bulb’ moment and the staff member said something along the lines ‘I guess we, the staff, were the ones taking it into other areas of the home’

      Preventing cross-infection is a time consuming process requiring attention to detail and care when handling everything in the room occupied by a patient in isolation. It requires intensive training so that the whole process becomes second nature to the staff. Even highly qualified, experienced NHS staff can slip up. .Staff in care homes do not have that level of experience or training .

      They need more support than was available. The idea s outlined in the HoC Committee would certainly be something to consider.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Care homes don’t care they don’t provide care I have been in many many care homes abominable places I would never agree to anyone I know going into one and I shall never go into one as a resident not ever they’re not safe


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