A care boss has spoken in regards to the “catastrophic consequences” of sufferers in Wales being discharged into properties and not using a Covid take a look at – as UK Government’s strategy was dominated “unlawful”.
At present the Excessive Courtroom dominated that UK Government insurance policies on discharging untested sufferers from hospital to care properties in England in the beginning of the Covid pandemic have been illegal.
Lord Justice Bean and Mr Justice Garnham discovered the choices of the then well being secretary Matt Hancock to make and keep a collection of insurance policies contained in paperwork issued in March and April 2020 have been illegal as a result of the drafters of these paperwork didn’t keep in mind the danger to aged and weak residents from non-symptomatic transmission.
In England the Government moved to testing all sufferers being discharged into care properties from April 15 – weeks after the pandemic began.
The court docket heard that greater than 20,000 aged or disabled care house residents died from Covid between March and June 2020 in England and Wales.
Whereas the ruling right this moment was solely associated to UK Well being Secretary Matt Hancock and Public Well being England, it was one other two weeks after April 15 earlier than Welsh Government launched necessary testing of all sufferers being discharged into properties in Wales.
Mario Kreft, the chair of Care Discussion board Wales and proprietor the Pendine Park care group, stated: “We had not had a world pandemic for 100 years and it’s clear that we have been ill-prepared, not simply right here however around the globe. It’s clear that a few of the judgement calls, though well-intentioned, have been based mostly on false assumptions.
“It appeared to the care sector that it was counter-intuitive that individuals who could properly have had Covid have been being discharged to locations the place there was no Covid, sadly in some situations with catastrophic penalties. We have been very clear on the time that it didn’t appear to be a good suggestion which is why Care Discussion board Wales suggested its members to enter lockdown three weeks forward of being advised to take action by the federal government.
“On the time plans have been being made for potential an enormous losses of life and understandably the governments of the UK and Wales prioritised clearing hospital beds. It’s truthful to say that older individuals could not have been given the consideration they need to have been given.
“Because we did not then have a proper testing regime, it was inevitable that infected people were going to spread the virus. Once Covid got into a care home it was virtually impossible to control. The High Court has made a judgement that applies in England and I can’t imagine it would be different anywhere else because similar policies were adopted across the UK.
“There will now be a public inquiry and the important thing now is that we don’t focus on apportioning the blame but that we learn lessons so that this never happens again.”
A Welsh Government spokesperson stated: “From early in the pandemic a wide range of support was put in place for residents in care homes, including providing extra nursing staff where necessary, supporting with infection control measures and providing free PPE for all private and public care homes in Wales.
“Since the start of the pandemic, our approach has been guided by the latest available scientific advice to keep people safe, wherever they live. As the international evidence base about coronavirus evolved, we have continued to update our approach to learn lessons for the future, and ensure we continue to do everything we can to keep people in Wales safe.”
Welsh Government has been beneath stress from the households of victims and opposition politicians to carry its personal public inquiry into the pandemic – alongside a UK-wide probe. However it has up to now refused to bow to that stress.