Efforts to tackle nursing home outbreaks to be ramped up as scandal of useless equipment from China unfolds
By Democrat reporter
Thirteen residents at a Glasgow care home have died in one week following a suspected outbreak of coronavirus.
Staff at Burlington Care Home, Cranhill, said they were “closely monitoring” the health of other people in their care and that “strict protocols” were in place.
All of the deceased residents had underlying health conditions and their families have been made aware.
Two staff members have tested positive and are being treated in hospital.
As first reported in The Scottish Sun, the care home said tests were not carried out on residents as they were only carried out when people were admitted to hospital.
A Four Seasons Health Care spokeswoman said: “With deep sadness we can confirm that 13 residents at Burlington Care Home have passed away over the past seven days.
“Our condolences are with their families and we are providing them with our ongoing support during this difficult time.
“The passing of a loved one is always traumatic irrespective of the circumstances.
“Within the home the focus of the team continues to be the ongoing care and protection of all our residents and our colleagues, two of whom are currently being treated for coronavirus.”
She said strict protocols on infectious diseases were in place, including social distancing, and staff were “closely monitoring” the health of other residents and workers.
“In these exceptional circumstances we are sincerely grateful for the dedication of our colleagues and can assure our residents and their families that we are putting all our resources and energy into supporting and protecting everyone in our homes,” she added.
The Care Inspectorate have been made aware of the deaths and are in contact with the care service, as well as the local health and social care partnership.
A spokesperson said: “We are aware of the tragic death of residents at this care home as a result of Covid-19.
“Our thoughts are with the loved ones of those affected as well as the the staff and wider community of the home.
“All of Scotland’s social care sector is working under very difficult circumstances to care for people during the pandemic and the Care Inspectorate is doing all it can to support them.”
A statement said their thoughts were with the families and friends of 13 residents at a Glasgow care home who have died in just one week following a suspected outbreak of coronavirus.
It added that the social care sector was working in “very challenging circumstances” and said everything possible would be done to provide support.
“The Care Inspectorate continues to provide advice and support to the care home at this time,” it said.
“We are in close contact with the Care Inspectorate to understand how Covid-19 is affecting the delivery of care across Scotland.”
The rising number of deaths in care homes for the elderly are rapidly coming into the coronavirus picture in the Irish republic, although no specific overall figures for Scotland have yet been revealed.
Further measures to tackle scores of coronavirus outbreaks in Irish nursing homes, along with a multi-million euro package of economic supports for the sector, are due to be announced by the Irish Government on Saturday.
The measures, which aim to “double down” on clusters of the disease now reported in 38 nursing homes, include twice-a-day temperature checks and the appointment of Covid-19 managers in affected homes.
The daily toll from the outbreak rose to its highest level on Friday, with the reporting of another 22 deaths – 11 men and 11 women – of patients diagnosed with coronavirus.
There have now been 120 deaths from Covid-19 in the Republic, with a median age of 82 years.
The number of new confirmed cases also rose to a record daily high, at 424, the National Public Health Emergency Team also reported on Friday. There are now 4,273 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.
Reporting the figures, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan expressed concern at the number of clusters in nursing homes. “We need to see continuous actions being taken to reduce the risk of transmission in nursing home and long-term residential facilities,” he warned.
Dr Holohan said a range of measures are being implemented to strengthen controls and infection prevention in nursing homes and to support training. Specific risks identified in some homes are being followed up.
RTÉ News are reporting that some new deliveries of PPE distributed this week contained protective gowns which are three-quarter length on the arm.This means that they are unusable to staff, since they do not give full protective cover.
The smaller gowns were discovered in new PPE supplies to hospitals and by National Ambulance Service staff in Dublin, Limerick, Galway, Sligo and Donegal within the past three days. The gowns are understood to be supplied from China.
It is been reported that a large Dublin hospital, nursing staff working on a ward which is exclusively for Covid-19 patients have expressed concern about the density of the material of the protective gowns they have been supplied with.
A statement form the HSE said, “Despite the challenges and volatility in the worldwide PPE market, the HSE has managed to secure a significant secondary line of supply to ensure alternate product is available if and when needed.”
The Spanish government purchased $467 million in medical supplies from China, including 950 ventilators, 5.5 million testing kits, 11 million gloves and more than half a billion protective face masks.
Soon after receiving the supplies, they had to return 9,000 “quick result” test kits to China, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported, because they were deemed substandard, specifically the sensibility of the test was around 30 percent, when it should be higher than 80 percent.
China admitted that the kits they sold to Spain were bought from Bioeasy, a Chinese company not licensed to make them.