Residents of VULNERABLE nursing homes have been “abandoned like lambs to slaughter,” said a former minister after 92 coronavirus epidemics in one day.
Former pension minister Baroness Altmann, who has long campaigned for the dignity of the elderly, said the crisis showed how some of society’s most vulnerable are being treated unfairly.
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It comes after nursing home bosses said yesterday that health leaders are playing Russian roulette with the lives of the elderly due to a lack of testing.
The warning came when it emerged that 13 residents had died in a house in Stanley, County Durham – and that the national death toll in nursing homes may already have exceeded 1,000.
In light of the figures, Baroness Altmann said: “In all of my decades of campaigning for the dignity of the elderly, there has been no clearer picture of how they are abandoned like lambs in massacre.
“They are left for dead because we don’t value their lives as much as young people. “
The figures came in the midst of a series of shocking revelations yesterday about the crisis.
Last night at a press briefing in Downing Street, Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer of Health, said that 13.5% of nursing homes in England now have coronavirus, up from 9% there is a week.
He added: “There have been outbreaks of Covid-19 in 92 nursing homes in the past 24 hours. “
Homes say they are forced to take patients out of the hospital without knowing they have a coronavirus.
It has also been claimed that some doctors did not register the coronavirus on residents’ death certificates.
A whistleblower, who works in the death registry in the south of England, told Channel 4 News that “in many cases” he was left out.
The insider said there had been “dozens and dozens” of errors on death certificates.
They added that a resident’s death certificate had been filed against Alzheimer’s disease, although he is suspected of having contracted Covid-19.
In a phone call, the whistleblower said he asked a general practitioner, “Alzheimer’s, right? “
To which the doctor replied: “Yes, I just said that because we did not go out to see him.
“It was probably Covid, but we put Alzheimer on the death certificate because he is over 80 years old. “
The whistleblower also said that deaths in nursing homes were “up significantly” compared to last year.
It was probably Covid, but we put Alzheimer on the death certificate because he is over 80 years old.
Rachel Beckett of Wellburn, who operates 14 nursing homes in the North and Northeast, spoke after it was confirmed that five Stanley residents died on Sunday.
She said, “I have a duty of care to my residents, their loved ones and my staff.
“How can I conscientiously admit a patient to one of our homes when we have no idea whether he has Covid-19 or not?”
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“Our staff is terribly exhausted. And the staff we have left, although resilient and cheerful, are broken, overworked and pushed to the limit.
“To expect us to follow these instructions is like playing Russian roulette with the lives of the people we are here to protect and protect. “
Three other houses in Yorkshire. Essex and Glasgow have already lost 13 residents.
11 others died on a site in Northamptonshire and 15 on one in Luton.
Officials would only say that many residents died at Edgemont View in Oldland Common, near Bristol.
At least three caregivers have also died in the past 15 days. However, the number of deaths per day published by the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs only includes hospital cases.
The National Statistics Office now publishes the number of deaths in nursing homes – but these figures are based on death certificates, which take a long time to be issued, causing the numbers to lag.
The NSO said there have been 20 deaths in nursing homes until the week of March 27, but industry leaders have estimated the figure at around 1,000.
Alzheimer Society activists Marie Curie of Age UK, Care England and Independent Age have called on the government to provide more tests and personal protective equipment for homes.
A joint letter said, “The life of the elderly is no less. Nursing home staff are not second-class caregivers. “
Dr Nick Phin, deputy director of Public Health England, said that there were advice for social care and discharge teams “to minimize any risk of transmission.”
He added, “The same advice advises on access to the appropriate tests. “
For 92 nursing homes reporting outbreaks in the past 24 hours alone, the chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, added: “If an outbreak is suspected, public health officials will respond and conduct tests. .
“This allows the nursing home staff, who are absolutely fantastic, to make sure they don’t spread.”
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