Why did SNP not help the tax-avoiding corporate care home-owners to keep their residents alive?

David Bol from the Herald at the FM Briefing today:

Care home size is much more strongly associated with the risk than the discharges but on June 4th Jeanne Freeman told Holyrood’s Health Committee that smaller care homes appeared to do better in handling the virus. Given that was known in June, have larger care homes been given any tailored advice or rules, given that the Scottish Government has been aware of that increased risk for almost five months?

It’s a jaw-dropper of a question.

Does Bol think there’s some scientific law operating here? It’s a correlation not cause and effect. Thank goodness none of the homes were even bigger because they’d have had even more deaths, he thinks.

If he did some research, he’d find that the bigger care homes are owned by corporations with a primary concern for the bottom line. That’s why they are bigger, why they fill up to maximum capacity all the time and keep staffing costs as low as possible. At times, they struggle for days understaffed and relying on agency staff travelling between their homes to manage fluctuations in demand.

They didn’t need more advice they needed more commitment.

6 thoughts on “Why did SNP not help the tax-avoiding corporate care home-owners to keep their residents alive?”

  1. Yeah, he’s from The Herald John … Says it all really. There Editor should be done for misleading Advertising for claiming “Quality Journalism” in his begging pop-up

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  2. Covid-19 seems to present especially severe infection control challenges: both the public health authorities and the care home providers probably took a time to learn how the better to cope.

    But all care homes of all sizes had an obligation to meet highest infection prevention and control standards in place at the time. Then and since, Care Inspectorate reports show that not all homes have done this.

    As early as 3 March, 2020, Health Protection Scotland’s Covid-19 guidance to care homes stated this:

    “Staff must comply with all infection control procedures as set out in this guidance and outlined in the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual which is best practice for all health and care settings.”

    And elsewhere in this early document, it stated this on staffing: “The use of bank or agency staff should be avoided wherever possible. Staff attending to care for someone who is possible or confirmed case of COVID-19 should not, where possible, attend to care for further people who are not self-isolating due to COVID-19. If this can’t be avoided, consider caring for these individuals at the end of caseloads.”

    https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/covid-19-guidance-archive/information-and-guidance-for-social-or-community-care-and-residential-settings/

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  3. “.. the bigger care homes are owned by corporations with a primary concern for the bottom line. That’s why they are bigger, why they fill up to maximum capacity all the time …”.

    Indeed. This is relevant to recall:

    https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2020/05/31/why-scotlands-private-care-homes-were-all-too-keen-to-take-hospital-discharges/#comments

    The article states: “In 2017 the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published a report entitled: “Care homes market study’.

    The CMA report states: “The cost structure (of the care home sector) means that maintaining a high level of occupancy is important. In the UK, occupancy rates are 90% on average in nursing homes and 91% in residential homes.”

    “Due to the strong incentive to avoid empty beds – as it is hard to reduce costs if beds are unfilled – we would not expect the industry to maintain the high levels of spare capacity that would be necessary to give prospective residents more choice. ”

    “We consider that while prospective residents might not have much choice, the pressure on homes to maintain occupancy levels exerts a strong competition pressure to attract residents – as even a small drop in occupancy could have a large impact on profitability.”

    This reinforces other TuSC posts that the care home sector would be willing – not unwilling – recipients of people transferred from hospital settings especially at a time when spaces were becoming available.

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  4. Sometimes Gov/Local authorities subsidise care homes. The Gov picks up the tab for residents whose monies have run out. The local authorities pay for residents who do not have means but need care. People have to use up any savings or financial assets. Until they are left with £16,000?

    Those in charge have a high level nursing grade. They are better paid. Cooks and cleaning staff receive trade union rates. Care workers are often low paid. It can be a difficult job. Heavy lifting and cleaning up mess etc. The residential homes can be happy places. The residents well looked after by dedicated staff.

    There are tight (Gov) rules and regulation. On going inspections. Scottish Gov social care mean more people can have support to stay in their own homes. Along with carers allowance. Increased in Scotland. Sheltered housing and wardens. They have care and nursing qualifications. Skilled workers are paid more. There are Church subsidised Homes. Subsidised with public monies for residents who have no means or family contributions.

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