By Tony O’Riley-
Care home staff in the Uk were allowed to continue work with Covid-19 patients in England, despite knowledge they had been in contact with them, The Eye Of Media.Com can reveal.
Staff were told during the heights of the pandamic that under the guidance care home staff are allowed to continue to work even if they come into contact with a covid 19 patient. The reasoning presented to them was that their exposure to the virus was short lived.
In other words, care workers who had spent less than 15 minutes within 2 metres of an infectious case, were deemed low risk patients.
A doctor from a London hospital anonymously told The Eye Of Media.Com that unless a patient has urgent essential treatment most care home residents will remain in that setting as ”there is a lot of beaurocracy in relation to the best course of action, though this may be detrimental to the individual receiving the right care promptly”.
The doctor said that at the height of the pandemic in care homes, ”there was a three phased approach which included protection for staff, protection for patients and finally isolation and control measures for other patients”.
The doctor said that the measures were implemented retrospectively following reports that covid in the care home has increased.
Testing for residents is always conducted on site because care home residents are often too frail to travel even short distances.
The doctor said not all diagnostics can fully be relied upon because some of the sophisticated machinery required to discern with 100% certainty is unable to be used within the care home..
Patients are generally tested for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome ARDS, Flu or Pneumonia. A representative of the Department Of Health And Care said this was because ”the presence of Respiratory Distress Syndrome is usually evidence of Covid-19”.
”The patient is then isolated within the care home. Some care homes are able to do this more effectively and is totally dependent on the amount of space available. They must have their own bathroom.
Care staff are required to commence full infection control measures to care for the covid patients, and ppe is expected to be worn when interacting with the infected patient.
”If more than 4 patients in Health the care home setting becomes infected access to additional help for a Health Protection Team HPT can be deployed to assist with testing and to isolate the outbreak. Once again this is all done within the care home where the outbreak has taken place.
On the use of PPE in care homes, Dr Nick Phin, Covid-19 incident director at PHE, said: “The UK’s guidance, informed by multiple government advisory groups, advised a 14-day isolation period before transfer into a care home, with this length of period a precautionary measure because the evidence available at the time of publication suggested that individuals would show symptoms within this period. “
The PPE approach adopted by the UK goes further than that recommended by the WHO guidelines, which recommend PPE only when caring for suspected or confirmed cases.
The potential risk of transmissions to and from care staff and residents due to sustained transmission was recognised and the use of PPE was broadened out on 12th April to all clinical and care interactions in hospitals and care homes.”