Wriggling care home group owner wants to pay for different answers that don’t blame care home groups


In another piece from Better Together activist Ken Symon:

A care home group owner has offered to pay for Freedom of Information searches to find answers from the Scottish Government on the spread of Covid-19. Robert Kilgour, executive chairman of Scotland’s largest care home group Renaissance Care, was responding to the news that the Scottish Government has refused to hand over details of when the First Minister first learned about Covid positive patients being sent to care homes.

It doesn’t seem to matter how often you say:

It doesn’t matter when the First Minister knew because five research reports now show that the hospital discharges did not cause the care home outbreaks. The outbreaks were mostly in the larger care home group homes because of failures there to control infections due to over-use of agency staff.

One more time:

  1. The charitable MHA with a presence in Scotland did research into its own homes and discovered this: Large numbers of staff could have been unknowingly spreading coronavirus through care homes, according to the UK’s largest charitable care home provider. Data from MHA shows 42% of its staff members who recently tested positive were not displaying symptoms. Nearly 45% of residents who had a positive test were also asymptomatic. The MHA Chief Executive said: I think it’s very difficult not to see that the only real way that this can have come into our homes is through staff picking it up, just through the community contacts they would have had. I think that is what is so hard for all our staff, because they care. But if they don’t know they’ve contracted the virus, how can you manage this?https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52912538
  2. We know from BBC Scotland’s own report that the Skye care home outbreak was associated with ‘a large dependency on agency staff‘: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-52546673
  3. Former BBC Scotland Head of News, John Boothman, now at the Times, wrote: HC-One, Britain’s largest care home chain and the operator of Home Farm, faces allegations that it paid insufficient heed to the [Scottish] government’s lockdown by parachuting workers in from as far away as Kent, 645 miles away, to plug staff shortages in a sector where pay is notoriously poor.https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/coronavirus-kills-six-and-leaves-dozens-seriously-ill-at-skye-care-home-3g70vxbf6
  4. An ONS study of 9 081 care homes in England found this: These emerging findings reveal some common factors in care homes with higher levels of infections amongst residents.These include prevalence of infection in staff, some care home practices such as more frequent use of bank or agency nurses or carers, and some regional differences (such as higher infection levels within care homes in London and the West Midlands). There is some evidence that in care homes where staff receive sick pay, there are lower levels of infection in residents. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/articles/impactofcoronavirusincarehomesinenglandvivaldi/26mayto19june2020#main-points

7 thoughts on “Wriggling care home group owner wants to pay for different answers that don’t blame care home groups

  1. Care home owner wants to incriminate themselves. The Westminster Gov should have shut down one month earlier and have been more prepared. With better rules and guidelines. The elderly are more susceptible to disease and death.

    Care home owners would be better funding staff, tests and PPE.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. In answer to a parliamentary question on 17 June this year, Jeane Freeman said: “The Care Inspectorate is currently operating in
    unprecedented circumstances and have the resources to respond in a risk assessed way to carry out their duties and provide public protection. Like other organisations, the Care Inspectorate has had to manage a number of staff vacancies caused by normal turnover and has robust systems and processes to do this effectively.
    My officials and I continue to hold regular meetings with the Care Inspectorate on a number of matters, including the review of staffing and resource for this and future operational years.
    During the pandemic the Care Inspectorate has maintained contact with every care home in Scotland regularly, and sometimes daily depending on individual circumstances. Up to 31 May 2020 their 300 inspectors had made 19,047 contacts with care services, with 630 of these being virtual meetings.
    As part of the continuous review in their response to Covid-19, the Care
    Inspectorate has put in place a programme of increased unannounced onsite inspections to care homes, and under the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No2) Act 2020 they will lay a fortnightly report on inspections before Parliament.”

    Lots of good advice available.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Where is Bob Dylan when we need him?

    “A talkin’ Robert Kilgour Paranoid Blues”…. song is badly needed.

    I’m sure Kay Adams would give it a spin. In more ways than one!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Whenever Kilgour’s picture features there is not so much a sense of “dejavu” but “oh for god’s sake not again…”
    We learn from “Scottish Government has refused to hand over details of when the First Minister first learned about Covid positive patients being sent to care homes” this is political, there is no commercial or legal aspect attached to when the FM knew what.
    All UK were simultaneously instructed to decant from hospitals for the same reasons, first published by HMG, yet Kilgour and friends infer a scenario unique to Scotland with the entire any-indy choir singing in harmony.
    I’m not aware of a media campaign anywhere else in the UK by Care-Home owners taking authorities or governments to task, made in Scotland from Tories….

    Liked by 2 people

  5. By April this year there had been 17 deaths in 4 of the 15 Renaissance Care Homes in Scotland. Mr Kilgour is CEO of the group.

    No doubt the Care Inspectorate would have been in touch with the company and have assessed whether there were changes in infection control needed and discussed the matter with the company.

    In early May this year researchers were saying this:” Official data from 13 countries suggests that the share of care home residents whose deaths are linked to COVID-19 tends to be lower in countries where there have been fewer deaths in total.
    There have been no infections or deaths in care homes in Hong Kong (only 4 deaths in total and 1,040 cases of infections in the total population) and in Singapore 2 out of 18 deaths have been among care home residents.”

    This research conclusion can hardly be surprising. The greater number of infections in the community from whom carers, relatives and others are drawn, the greater the likelihood of infection in care homes in that community.


    Other research, by Professor Bell looks at the discharge of patients from hospitals to care homes. Delayed discharges, having had a sustained reduction earlier, were at a high in Jan-Feb of 2020. Delayed discharges then dropped sharply in March.

    “These data provide clear evidence of the imperative to clear hospitals prior to the pandemic. Those moved away from hospital will have been accommodated in care homes or in a domestic setting. It is likely that these arrangements were made in haste with probably the laudable motive of protecting patients from the virus. Whether this process has caused more problems by placing some people with COVID infections in settings where they could infect others or by exposing frail individuals to more risk than they would have faced in hospital must await further research.”

    Well, that research has been done and, as John reports, the outcome is: ” PHS found that while hospital discharge is associated with an increased risk of an outbreak when considered on its own, the estimated risk of an outbreak was reduced and not statistically significant after accounting for care home size and other care home features.”

    The greater the size of the home, the greater the contact with the people from the wider community, it might be reasonable to suppose.


    There may have been the failures around the delayed discharges in Scotland to which Professor Bell refers but, taking account of that, it is hard to see the relevance of Mr Kilgour’s desire to know when the FM first knew of covid positive patients being sent to care homes.

    Meanwhile, 29 infections of covid-19 were found in October among staff and residents at Milford House run by Renaissance Care.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Anything to take the attention off the actual fact that private care home owners should be being taken to court for negligence. They used staff from outwith Scotland during lockdown, they did not supply staff with PPE and did not cushion the blow for staff when they were too ill to work, so some may well have had to go into these homes to work while carrying Covid19.
    It’s a classic case of blaming others, in this case the Scottish government, to hide their own culpability in their sorry saga of putting profit before peoples’ lives. Despicable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be fair Hetty I’ve not yet heard a bad word said on Kilgour’s Renaissance Homes. Kilgour himself may well be concerned over negligence claims against the business, but it will not affect him directly, and none of this public smearing makes a damned bit of difference in a court of law.
      This is very much a case of a rich man throwing his financial weight around via like-minded “facilitators” and contacts to influence public opinion, which after almost 6 months of repetition have achieved diddly-squat. Incontinent pigeons are watching this develop in hopes of a cameo after PQ made them redundant to promote a Linesman…
      What price honesty and democracy…


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