I’m lucky to have a voice, I can say what I think needs to be said. I am really privileged that people write to me with their secrets, their complaints, their hopes and ideas.
I try to reply, acknowledge, make a comment.
I was sent this email two days ago. It made me weep. Tears of sorrow, compassion, hopelessness, frustration and anger. I have no words…
My parents reside in a care home, Mum has last stages of Dementia and Dad has Parkinson’s (but with full mental capacity)
The care home, via random testing, in early May, established they had what they termed an asymptomatic resident. I am yet to be told what this means and how this “longstanding resident” caught the virus in the first place.
It took until last Thursday for the rest of the care home residents and staff to be tested… after chasing, by myself and other relatives.
(I know the testing regime has been shambolic)
Before the test results arrived Mum developed a cough and became poorly. Dad’s tastes changed, went off his food and began to display signs of confusion.
I had to ask, in an email, for them to be isolated. At this point I believe the only resident to be isolated was the person who was asymptomatic.
The test results came back late Sunday. We were not notified. During the early hours of Monday morning Mum and Dad became very ill. At that point we were advised they both have Covid.
They are both still here fighting for their lives. Mum is on an end-of life-plan due to her co-morbidities.
Dad should be being helped by the NHS (here I am critical of the system not the people)
In our view, Dad needs a drip but the care home can’t do that. He can’t be admitted to hospital, due to having all the non-standard elderly people’s symptoms, he doesn’t qualify.
My Dad didn’t want a DNAR, he expected to be helped by the NHS he believed in, voted for, paid for all of his life.
We have just been told that the local GP has said Dad cannot be resuscitated because the care home doesn’t have the enhanced PPE.
This is confusing. PHE has issued guidance on PPE for staff undertaking resuscitation; Level 3 PPE it’s not needed in care homes, which conflicts with Resuscitation Council guidance… Level 3 is needed.
We know there is a national shortage and we also know distribution is/has been shambolic but they can’t get it and are now looking to local charitable organisations to see if they have any.
Ours isn’t an unfamiliar tale but it is devastating, for all the families like ours who find themselves without anyone who can do anything. I feel totally helpless.
I am someone who has worked in health and local government for all of my working life.
How must other families feel? Angry, let down by a system that should be caring for a generation that fought poverty, the war, the depression and gave us freedom.
It’s a generation that’s being left to die.
… if you can use our story to raise the profile of the elderly especially in the context of today’s statistics showing 25% of deaths relating to the elderly, I would be grateful
I’d also like Government to realise that these are real people with real families, daughters (in our case) and grandchildren who will be scared forever.
Presumably, hospitals have appropriate PPE so my Dad would be safer in hospital?
I have read your blogs for years and this is the first time I have been brave enough to ask you for help.
Tonight will be another sleepless night, checking the phones, wondering how they are doing and hoping/praying that they make it through the night.
Yesterday morning I learned my correspondent had bought 10, CE approved face shields, ‘... for use with my parents… they’ll be delivered to the care home‘.
Can I ask, please, next time you watch the 5pm, Number 10, press charade, you remember this email.
Next time you hear a minister or a house-trained chief-medico-scientist, telling us, this-n-that’s world-beating, protective rings, done-at-pace, spending more money than god… please, remember, this email and ask yourself, are they fools or liars.
I have no words…
News and Comment from Roy Lilley