Sweden says it failed its elderly during COVID-19 pandemic – increased staffing and training recommended

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An independent report from the Swedish Health Agency has concluded the country failed to protect aged care residents as COVID-19 tore through the sector.

Almost half of Sweden’s 7,667 COVID deaths (46%) have been in care homes, prompting an investigation into the sector.

Some of the main factors highlighted included a shortage of proper PPE, delays in COVID testing and a general unpreparedness for the virus outbreak.

“These shortcomings have led to residential care being unprepared and ill-equipped to handle a pandemic,” the report stated.

Fragmentation across the sector’s health systems was also another contributing factor highlighted by the agency.

The head of the Commission, Mats Melin, said blame should be shared across various authorities and organisations – including previous Governments.

The report recommends increasing staff numbers and training along with an overhaul of the regulatory framework.