A reminder that Boris Johnson’s pledge to fix residential care funding has come too late for many.
Amnesty International has called for the UK Government’s promised enquiry into its aged care sector’s COVID outbreaks – promised back in July – to begin immediately after it published a report that concluded the 18,000 residents who died had their human rights violated.
The human rights organisation found over 28,116 ‘excess deaths’ were recorded in English aged care homes between March and June this year, with 18,500 as a result of COVID and many “entirely avoidable”.
In particular, the report – titled ‘As If Expendable: The UK Government’s Failure to Protect Older People in Care Homes during the COVID-19 Pandemic’ – raised concerns about the inappropriate use of ‘Do Not Attempt Resuscitation’ (DNAR) orders issued on a blanket basis in aged care homes – which have yet to have been revised.
Blanket orders given for residents to not be resuscitated
Residents were also found to have been denied access to health services they were entitled to, with sending residents to hospitals discouraged or refused according to the report – “violating their right to health and potentially their right to life, as well as their right to non-discrimination.”
Records show there were 11,800 fewer hospital admissions for aged care residents in March and April compared to previous years.
Official figures showed admissions to hospital for care home residents decreased substantially during the pandemic, with 11,800 fewer admissions during March and April compared to previous years.
As we have previously reported, there were also cases of GPs refusing to enter homes and only being available via phone or video call, even for residents who were close to death.
“It is imperative that lessons are learned so that the same mistakes are not repeated, and that those responsible for such disastrous decisions are held accountable,” Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Adviser and author of the report, told Business Insider.