Crosslet House virus deaths have reached 21

By Bill Heaney

There are unconfirmed reports today that the number of residents who have died after contracting coronavirus at Crosslet House care home in Dumbarton could be as high as 21.

That would be five more than yesterday when the figure of 16 was given during a debate on Covid-19 in the Scottish Parliament.

West Dunbartonshire Community Party member, Cllr Jim Bollan, told friends on social media: “Sadly, tonight a trusted source tells me the number of deaths at Crosslet House could be as high as 21.

“All residents were given a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) forms last month. GP’s have stopped visiting Crosslet Home. Agency workers who are working in various other public/private care settings are doing shifts in Crosslet House.”

The swift and angry public reaction to these latest revelations was that what was happening was “disgusting” and questions as to why the GPs had stopped visiting

Margaret McVey said: “I hope this is not right. If it is, it’s disgusting.”

Margaret called for an investigation, while Yvonne Murray Donachey said not only were GPs not making visits but that priests had stopped making visits.

Catholic residents who were dying were only being given the Last Rites (Viatecum) by nurses who had been given guidance by a priest.

Nick Irvine speculated that the number of inquiries and investigations “after the dust settles on all of this will be unreal”.

But Margaret Croft said the authorities should not hang around – “We shouldn’t be waiting for the dust to settle but act now.”

Natalie Muir asked how many were actually tested for Covid-19. If I was a family member, I would not just settle for this Covid 19 as every death seems to be put down to that when a lot are not.”

GMB trade union representative David Scott asked where was the openness and honesty in what was happening.

He said his mother was in the Hill View care home – “My Mum is in Hill View and I received a call last week to tell me the sad news about nine residents passing away due to Covid 19.

“Rightly or wrongly at least I was told before it appeared in media. This hasn’t happened at Crosslet. Condolences to all the families involved.”

David Smith said: “Deepest condolences to all of the families and friends who have lost someone who lived there, very sad news …

“For the families and friends who still have relatives in there, can’t imagine what you are going through right now.”

Jacqueline Hardie said: “Just to pick up on the DNR thing; most patients in nursing homes will have these in place already.

“But it doesn’t mean ‘do not treat’ it means if their heart stops beating they won’t be subjected to the pretty brutal CPR procedure and can pass away peacefully.”

When Gary Ashmore disagreed on DNR procedures, Jacqueline said: “Well I’ve worked in general practice for a long time and I have never, ever known a GP sign a DNACPR without having an end of life discussion with the patient/next of kin first. Maybe I’ve just worked with a lot of exceptionally ethical doctors who follow the gold standard.”

Shaz Wade said when her mother was sent a DNR form “she broke her heart and still does”.

She added: “This is absolutely disgraceful. It came from a GP. Something needs to be done about those forms. This has caused a lot of stress to my mother.”

Elspeth Crocket, a retired teacher who is well known in the community, said: “This is awful, your mum must be terrified. Please send her my love. My mum was in a care home and I would have been furious if this had happened.”

Gary Ashmore described the actions of the GPs as “shameful” – “And shame on the NHS workers defending the GPs’ actions.”

Shaz Wade told him the form asked residents that if contracted the virus did they want admitted to hospital or to be kept comfortable “in house” – “in other words left to die a painful death and if you wanted to be resuscitated.”

Gary Ashmore added: “Scaring already ill elderly people by letter is so wrong, and shows up an uncaring attitude.

“There is a nasty flu pandemic and all our most vulnerable and elderly get is sent a DNR form.

“That’s shocking, callous and indefensible.”

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie made it plain in parliament yesterday that she did not wish to see patients in any care home being treated as second class citizens.

Bonnie Koby Stewart asked: “Who decided on the DNR form? What category do humans have to be in to receive such a form?”

Betty Mckillop told Cllr Bollan: “Jim, I am torn between disgust and heartbreak at this news.

“I visited an old neighbour, who became a very dear friend, in fact I call her my other mother.

“I was in Crosslet a minimum of five times a week; the staff were lovely, so caring.

“I am sure this situation won’t be sitting well with them. These are orders from top of the house.

“I hope [those people] who decided to implement these rules rot in Hell.”

Helen Kennedy described the situation as “disgusting if true…everyone no matter what age is entitled to live.”

Bernadette Graham told Cllr Bollan: “There will be staff in Crosslet that wants to speak out but can’t as they will be afraid to; they will be heartbroken with what’s going on not just with the Carona Virus but with the daily running of the place, which I am told is as bad as ever.

“They just moved the problem from all the small homes into one large home, I worked in them all and thank God I was in the position to keep my father at home as I would have been locked up for my actions towards some of the staff starting with the managers and some of the team leaders who I wouldn’t let look after my dog as they had no compassion and were counting the days until they could leave.

“Also some have night shift work elsewhere so maybe if they put all their time into running the home making sure that there were enough towels, face clothes, toiletries, bedding which were most of the time nil.

There are some great carers in the homes who carry the management and care staff who couldn’t care less but they are mostly off sick with their nerves as they are under so much pressure.”

Bernadette added that some staff were on medication for “nerves” and were afraid to go to work – “the poor souls told if they don’t like it leave.

“I was in with Scot Nursing who kept the homes staffed most of the time; they eventually got rid of Scot Nursing and went with an agency.

“One thing about Scot Nursing agency staff was that the residents and their care was priority.

“Lots of complaints were made to the Care Commission on numerous occasions regarding a certain home which was run by the now manager of Crosslet House.

“On one occasion I stood up for a female resident and was told to remember I was only an agency worker and my reply was yes and that’s why I am not afraid to do my job because your certainly not doing yours.

“One of the female council workers was going off for a weekend and she went to check the rota to see who would be on shift, she said to me thank god it’s all Scot Nursing that’s on over the weekend.

“I can relax now knowing my residents will be looked after.

“I was horrified that some staff members couldn’t go home and relax without worrying about their residents.

“These workers are worth their weight in gold. I would say to any worker that feels under pressure of speaking up because they have been told if you don’t like it leave to speak up or you will never root out these people who have been bullying you for years.”

Cllr Jonathan McColl, leader of the SNP administration on West Dunbartonshire Council, refuses to comment to The Dumbarton Democrat.

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