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Your spotlight on local services

Concerns raised for safety of elderly discharged from hospital into care homes



A local health and social care charity is concerned that national NHS guidance being used by hospitals may be adding to the COVID-19 pandemic in local social care settings. Healthwatch Redbridge, today (7 May) raises concerns regarding their initial findings from a small survey of social care organisations across Redbridge.

Cathy Turland, Chief Executive at Healthwatch Redbridge said:

‘We were informed that patients are currently being routinely tested for Coronavirus on discharge from hospital. However some patients are being discharged prior to the test results being known and are returning to residential homes, with staff being advised to treat the person as though they have the virus and isolate them until the results are known. We are also aware that some homes are finding it increasingly difficult to isolate some residents in their rooms, particularly if they have a dementia-related illness. Both residents and staff in care homes are extremely vulnerable to this terrible virus; to actively increase the risk to other residents by the potential introduction of the virus into a home is an unnecessary contribution to an already overloaded social care service.’

The survey is currently being conducted via telephone interviews across 30-40 care and nursing homes for people who may be elderly or have conditions such as dementia or learning disabilities.
The initial findings are raising concerns about three main themes; the lack of appropriate testing, staff being asked to complete very long shifts, and the scarcity of PPE (personal protective equipment).

She went on to say:

‘Some homes have told us tests have been returned as ‘voids’ which means they are not being carried out correctly. Some have staff who are unable to drive and therefore cannot attend testing stations, and some are telling us they have been trying to get hold of the tests without success’.

The full report will be completed and released in due course.

For and on behalf of Healthwatch Redbridge……



Contact details:

Healthwatch Redbridge
Cathy Turland - Chief Executive Officer
07734 140 657

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