Care homes refuse to admit patients without coronavirus test

Manor Park Care Home is one of 17 homes in North Somerset refusing to admit patients unless they hav

Manor Park Care Home is one of 17 homes in North Somerset refusing to admit patients unless they have been tested for coronavirus. - Credit: Archant

Care homes across North Somerset are refusing to readmit hospital patients unless they test negative for Covid-19.

Peter Allen, who owns care homes in Weston and Clevedon, said his staff had been placed in a horrendous position of wanting to care for one of their former residents – who tested positive and subsequently died – but knowing that other vulnerable lives would have been put at risk.

The owners of 17 care homes have told North Somerset Council and the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire clinical commissioning group they will not readmit any hospital patients without a test.

The Government has now relented and said it will offer tests to ‘everyone who needs one’ in social care settings.

Mr Allen, who owns Clevedon Court, Manor Park and Butterfly House, said: “We had a gent who stayed with us for a while who needed regular hospital visits. He was in hospital for a couple of weeks and they asked us to take him back.

“We said he needed to be tested. A few days later he tested positive, and unfortunately he died over the weekend.

“We couldn’t take the risk of bringing him in. It was a horrendous decision to make.”

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Care home association chief Gordon Butcher sent a letter to the council and CCG on behalf of 17 care homes last week saying they had been put ‘on notice’.

Albert House, Ambleside, Annabel House, Arrigadeen, Beach Lawns, Beaufort Hall, Clarence Park, Clevedon Court, Ellenbourgh, Highcroft, Leonard Elms, Lyndhurst Park, Manor Park, Oaklands, Serenita, The Manor House and Winscombe Hall will no longer accept untested patients.

Mr Butcher said: “This email to the two commissioners of care comes after two nursing homes refused to readmit residents from hospitals unless they were tested.

“The corresponding hospitals relented and both residents were tested positive to the Covid virus.

“The ramifications had these homes readmitted these residents can clearly be seen in Europe where deaths in care homes have reached nightmare numbers.

“It’s been recorded that between 42-57 per cent of all deaths recorded in Europe were from care homes.

“The government announced last week that over 2000 care homes have reported outbreaks of the virus. I’m amazed that North Somerset has to date got off so lightly, but we are all just holding our breath in dreaded anticipation.”