Care home residents who don’t have COVID-19 should be moved to hotels to flee the deadly virus, a public service union has said.
Unison has said all residents and staff working in care homes should be tested immediately to see who has COVID-19 because it emerged the virus has now been detected in 53 residential facilities.
Where there are confirmed cases of the coronavirus in care homes, healthy residents should be moved in a very bid to avoid wasting lives, Unison regional secretary Patricia McKeown said.
“We should be testing everyone; it doesn’t add up that we aren’t doing that as long as people may be asymptomatic and infectious,” she said.
Patricia McKeown of Unison
“When we all know the virus is in a very home we must always be taking steps to shield the residents and staff. All our hotels are empty; we may be moving residents into hotels to stay them safe, it might certainly save lives.
“People who are testing negative mustn’t be made to remain in homes where there’s a coronavirus.”
There are 484 care homes in European nation with a complete of 16,000 beds.
Serious concerns are raised over the measures that are put in situ to stay care home residents safe in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many people living in residential and nursing homes are considered within the high-risk category and families to possess been stopped from visiting their loved ones in a very bid to slow the spread of the virus. At the identical time, however, widespread testing of residents and staff has not been going down and there have also been significant shortages of non-public protective equipment for workers.
Ms McKeown criticised the actual fact that care homes are being forced to simply accept residents who are discharged from the hospital without first being tested to point out whether or not they have the virus.
There are reports that some care homes are anesthetize pressure by health trusts to simply accept new admissions, while the Western Trust has refused to mention whether it’s suspended admissions to a Londonderry care home hit by a coronavirus, where a minimum of 10 people have died.
Ms McKeown said: “It is completely criminal if people are being admitted.
“It is astounding that we are fining people for leaving their homes yet we seem to be putting our most vulnerable in danger by not taking very obvious precautions that might save lives.”
She also hit out at the continued confusion over the quantity of care home residents who are dying from coronavirus.
Last week Health Minister Robin Swann said figures would be released which might provide more clarity on the problem.
Health Minister Robin Swann
Statistics were subsequently issued on Friday, with a breakdown of whether deaths occurred in a very hospital or in community settings including care homes, although the figures failed to reveal what proportion of individuals dying in hospital contracted coronavirus in a very care home.
“The lack of transparency is extremely alarming,” Ms McKeown said. “The only way we are able to establish whether there’s a controversy particularly care homes is by testing everyone. If we see that there’s a cluster, we’d like to be asking why that’s happening, what’s causing it.
“We have to be supporting staff and helping care homes to try and do everything they will. the bulk of those homes are within the private sector and that they haven’t got the time to fight this on their own.
“Even staple items like isolation are going to be very difficult given the environment in many care homes and therefore the staffing issues that they need, yet as whether residents have gotten proper treatment.
“When COVID-19 hit us older people were immediately identified united of the groups in greatest danger and in need of special protection. Yet, remarkably, it appears that older people living in care homes and residential homes – and therefore the Unison members providing look after them – are left to the last.
“We are demanding urgent answers on why this has taken place.”
Alliance Party health spokeswoman Paula Bradshaw said she remains concerned about the measures in situ to cut back the spread of coronavirus in local care homes.
“The situation in care homes must be an urgent priority, and every one options must be considered to make sure the security of residents and staff,” she said.
“Swift testing is important and with the additional capacity we’ve got, we must always be ready to pursue it immediately.”