Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeCOVID-19Cruelty still unchecked in the care-home gulag

Cruelty still unchecked in the care-home gulag


SATURDAY’S edition of Lockdown Sceptics reminded us that care-home cruelty is continuing under the Government’s callous coronavirus policy.

Relaying a heartbreaking email he’d received from a reader, Toby Young asked: when will this needless cruelty end?

The letter read:

I am desperate and beside myself having received some information from my father’s care home today. It is only allowing one member of his family to visit him for 30 minutes once a fortnight. Full PPE, outdoors and at two metre distance.

What is most upsetting is that it is a reduction in what we have been managing to do to try to support him since March. We have been allowed by the care home to see him through double glazed patio doors for 30 minutes, twice a week. So down from four visits a fortnight to one.

I cannot see an end to these restrictions in care homes and I am now, more than ever, certain I will never see my father in person again before his natural death. There must be more to the end of a person’s life than this loneliness and being deprived of family support and love.

Please do print any aspects of this on the website as you feel fit.

A very very sad day for my family today.

Another reader in touch with Lockdown Sceptics relates how he’d ‘been told by his friend’s care home that he’s not even able to send flowers. The guidance issued by the home includes the following gem: “We are unable, unfortunately, to accept any flowers, due to the inability to sanitise them”.’

Were there any evidence that the Government’s policy had protected care home residents or had saved their lives, there might have been an excuse for temporarily locking them away from their families. But not only is there none, the evidence is that the government’s policy succeeded in doing the reverse – far from curbing the death rate, their officious and tin-eared edicts exacerbated it.

It is over five months now since TCW first warned of the fatal flaws in their policy and that a crisis was about to unfold with rotating shifts of unprotected and untested staff. It is four months since we (and other media) reported Office for National Statistics (ONS) data which showed that the number of deaths in care homes had doubled since pre-crisis, from 2,471 in week 11 to 4,927 in week 15, but that only 826 of those deaths – a third of them – were actually Covid-19 related. 

So what was happening? We asked (but the Government did not) whether patients were dying of neglect and understaffing as had been reported in Spain; whether also from sheer misery at their apparent abandonment by their locked-out families? 

Two months later, in mid-June, the shocking news broke that to clear beds hospitals had discharged 25,000 Covid-infected geriatric patients back to their care homes in the first weeks, which we reported here, putting an impossible strain on institutions already ill-equipped to manage the virus. 

By this stage, also in the public domain was that at least 15,000 care-home residents had died from Covid-19.  Analysts LaingBuisson predicted that care homes would account for half of England’s coronavirus-related deaths. Despite this, the Department of Health and Social Care continued to maintain that it took the ‘right decisions at the right time’. 

As if it couldn’t get any worse, more ONS data on Britain’s care-home gulag was released in early July.

The headlines were brutal. Forty per cent of Covid-19 deaths to date were care-home residents and of 54,430 excess deaths (above average) in England and Wales over half (54 per cent) were care-home residents, confirming the deadly impact of the isolation caused by blanket lockdown policies.

Here we are coming towards the end of August and letters like those received by Toby Young reveal that little has changed and that the Government has learnt nothing. It remains deaf to the dreadful consequences of its lockdown and social distancing policies on care homes, and blind to its continuing inhumanity. 

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Kathy Gyngell
Kathy Gyngell
Kathy is Editor of The Conservative Woman. She is @kathygyngelltcw on GETTR and is back on Twitter.

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