Seven residents of a care home have died after GPs deemed it ‘unsafe’ for vaccine teams to enter – in defiance of NHS guidance.
Health Service advice states all unaffected residents and staff should receive ‘prompt’ vaccinations once an outbreak begins.
But after three positive cases at Falcon House care home on January 11 doctors from the Eden Surgery said their staff would not enter until the residence was ‘Covid clear’.
Health Service advice states all unaffected residents and staff should receive ‘prompt’ vaccinations once an outbreak begins
A second assessment on January 20 found there was still ‘too high a risk’ for the vaccinating team to attend the Bishop’s Stortford care home and vaccinate the remaining residents. West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (WECCG) said in a letter to relatives that it was ‘not safe’ for staff to enter the home because it posed a risk to other GP patients if they were exposed to the virus.
Almost a third of the home’s residents have now died, with 19 of all 23 becoming infected. The remaining four have had no access to the jab – although they have been promised vaccinations today. Manager Karen Hunt said: ‘It’s devastating. I battled, I asked for the residents to be vaccinated in the car park if that was the only way. I would’ve done anything to help protect them.’
Almost a third of Falcoln House’s residents have now died, with 19 of all 23 becoming infected
Diane Mills, whose mother Winifred Baitup died, aged 99, last week, said: ‘We feel the delays and lack of decision-making by the authorities are very much to blame.
‘If Mum had been vaccinated at the end of December or the start of January there is a strong chance she would still be alive. It is unforgivable there are still residents waiting to be vaccinated and those responsible cannot come up with a plan to get it done.’
A WECCG spokesman said: ‘The public health authority has been clear that due to a Covid outbreak it would be unsafe for residents to be vaccinated at this time.’ Eden Surgery did not comment.