A CARE home where 15 residents died in the coronavirus crisis was “used as a dumping ground” for elderly hospital patients, a source said.
They added that Temple Court in Kettering, Northants had also been “pressured into taking untested patients” so that the local hospital could free up beds.
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The home was claimed to be free from the Covid-19 virus before NHS admissions, but it was forced to close after all staff became ill.
Official figures indicate that 12,526 people have died from coronavirus in nursing homes across the country – a third of the total number of deaths – but the figure could be much higher.
The house is reported to have received 15 NHS patients in March from the city hospital who were not residents of the house.
The insider told People: “This is a huge scandal. Hospitals have lobbied nursing homes to accept patients, even though they had no idea whether or not they had a coronavirus. “
It was claimed between March 28 and May 1 that 15 people died, five with Covid-19, seven suspected of having it, and three from unknown causes. Ten of the dead were NHS patients.
It is understood that a 16th resident, an 87-year-old woman, has been admitted to intensive care and is in palliative care after being tested positive for the virus.
The document also reports that the 12 house staff had symptoms of coronavirus after the arrival of NHS patients.
Nine were subsequently tested positive by agency workers who had to be called to manage the house.
On Friday, the remaining residents of Temple Court were transferred to new facilities due to medical conditions.
The source said: “Temple Court went from virus free on March 19 to 15 dead on May 1.
“No one had been tested, the hospital just wanted them out. It was the top direction.
“Every other morning, another member of staff came down. Soon they were running without a manager, an assistant, and then without staff.
“They had to bring in agency workers and the residents were not getting the care they needed.”
Until government directives were changed on April 15, they said patients should be released to nursing homes, even if they tested positive for Covid-19 or without any tests.
“EXTREMELY DIFFICULT POSITION”
Nadra Ahmed, executive president of the National Care Association, said, “The fact that the caregiver felt compelled to take untested leave in the service underscores the perilous position to which the sector was exposed.
“I feel devastated for families who have lost loved ones and residents who are forced to leave the house of their choice.
“Neither should we underestimate the devastating impact on home staff and the provider. It’s absolutely heartbreaking for everyone. “
Minster Care, who runs Temple Court in 60 homes, declined to comment on whistleblower claims, but said it was in an “extremely difficult position.”
A spokesperson said, “A large number of employees, including the manager, were absent and we were disproportionately dependent on agency staff.
“The management team has now largely returned and we hope to be able to provide the highest level of care our residents expect again soon.”
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Health Secretary Matt Hancock previously refused to apologize to the families of residents of the deceased nursing homes in Covid-19, and said last month that the request was “unreasonable.”
The health ministry said, “We have a policy in place to ensure that all people are tested when they are discharged from hospitals to nursing homes.
“We have allocated £ 1.3 billion in additional funding to improve the discharge process.”
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