Suspected or confirmed coronavirus outbreaks have occurred in 25% of care homes in Norfolk, and 30% in Norwich, new figures have revealed. New data from Public Health England (PHE) showed 88 outbreaks occurred across Norfolk’s 348 care homes between March 9 to April 27.
I believe that this government has been telling us that everything possible is being done to protect the elderly and vulnerable from coronavirus. But at the same time, its policies have been jeopardising the older people and staff that care for them.
For weeks, experts have been raising the alarm that the monomaniacal focus on trying to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed has been pushing an equally significant and lethal burden onto care homes.
Time after time, I’ve been told by care workers that they can’t reliably get tests and protective equipment. Care homes have also been on the receiving end of measures to admit only the sickest for hospital treatment and to clear out as many non-acute patients as possible from wards, intensifying the risk to many care staff and older people.
This government were too slow to lock down, too slow to get protective equipment to front-line workers, and has now presided over a systemic failure to protect staff and residents in care homes across our county.
Medical professionals believe that these figures will continue to grow in the coming weeks as the number of people with Covid19 in settings such as care homes is still rising in Norfolk, as it is nationally. This is simply not good enough, and the government is letting down the residents, the care workers, and their families.
You can read the full Norwich Evening News story on this here.