Friday, May 29, 2020

Track and Trace, Testing and NHS. Support

Just a quick update.  BBC News is on, it is all about care homes.  Here is my perspective in relation to the three items on everyone’s lips, but in relation to our care home;

1.  Track and Trace  - this has HUGE impacts for us.  Currently, if a staff member becomes symptomatic they self isolate, and are tested.  With track and trace, ALL staff who have worked with that person would need to sel-isolate, and presumably residents would go into quarantine?  That is hugely problematic with a small workforce, and would essentially mean we would not have enough staff for the business.  Many other Care Homes are in the same position, we have been asking these questions for a few days, I keep getting the same answers “Oh, that is a good question”.  I presume that my risk assessments, because we wear PPE at all times, mean we would not all have to self isolate with no symptoms - remember all staff and residents have temperature checks daily.  This is yet another example of policy being put in place with no understanding of care homes.

2.  Testing - we have tests for staff and residents, but again, no thought about those with dementia.  To test the majority of our residents will be very difficult and very distressing and will require some form of restraint.  Of course, if we have a symptomatic resident they and all residents will be tested but testing only works at one point in time, to test with no symptomatic residents or staff, and have to put residents through a very distressing process is not clear cut - again, guidelines talk about a rolling programme of testing in care homes, with no understanding or thought about the impact of those living with dementia.

3. NHS / Medical support - the BBC have run a distressing news item about a care home that did not receive the medical support it required.  We have GP FaceTime calls, the district nursing team visit when required.  We have received paramedics visits and we have had two residents admitted to hospital during the Covid pandemic - not for Covid related issues.  Both were tested on admission (negative) and in theory were tested on discharge (although we were unable to get that in writing on both occasions).  Both residents were quarantined and strict infection control protocols were followed for 14 days.  Both residents are now out of quarantine and healthy and well.

Hope that may help - it’s from the horses mouth so to speak!

Tomorrow I am putting up new PPE dispensers on the walls - power drill is charged and screws purchased.  Wish me luck....

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