Swedish watchdog finds “serious shortcomings” in its aged care homes during COVID – 20% of residents not seen by a doctor

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Just weeks after the Scandinavian county reported a re-emergence of coronavirus in its aged care homes, an investigation has found authorities failed to care for COVID-positive residents.

The Health and Social Care Inspectorate (IVO) began investigating Sweden’s aged care homes after complaints from relatives and staff.

“In its investigation, IVO has identified serious short-comings at regional level when it comes to the care provided to people living in nursing homes,” Sofia Wallstrom (pictured above), the watchdog’s director general, said.

Their findings showed that none of the country’s 21 regions had taken sufficient responsibility for the treatment of infected aged care residents, with 20% of residents having received no individual assessment by doctors.

The investigation did not single out individual facilities or staff.

Ms Wallstrom urged regional authorities to carry out measures to improve care and present them no later than 15 January 2021. She added that the agency would also be carrying out a further review of resident records.

“The lowest level (of care) is quite simply too low,” Wallstrom said. “Even during a pandemic.”

The latest figures show that Sweden has recorded more than 6,500 COVID deaths, with over 2,700 among aged care residents.

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