Kilkis wrote:If the UK was a company and the government was the board of directors then I think care home deaths would present a compelling case for corporate manslaughter charges. .......... ............... People are dying of COVID-19 today in care homes. The disease has past the peak. The NHS was not overwhelmed and is currently running at around 20 % occupancy of intensive care beds. Why are care home residents who develop severe COVID-19 symptoms not being admitted to hospital where they might survive given suitable treatment?
I doubt that the government has much influence over day by day or hour by hour decisions made in hospitals by medical staff, NHS local management and care home management especially before it was known that care home residents were being denied proper care. It's the much venerated medics and/or hospital managers who decide which patients get particular treatment. It's they who know how many beds are available and who gets priority if the supply is at or beyond capacity. It's not a member of the government who makes the decision about treatment for someone dangerously ill. It's not government that says, "I think this person is unlikely to recover; they should be in intensive care but we don't have a bed available (or 'we don't have enough spare beds to risk blocking one that could be occupied by someone more likely to survive'); we'll have to send them home." That, in many cases, happens to be a care home.
Last week it was reported in the Grauniad (or The Economist or Spectator which allow me to read a handful of articles before closing their pay wall gates) that some hospitals have returned patients to care homes without disclosing to their management that the person was infected with the virus. In some cases, where care home managers had been informed, they had argued that the person should remain in hospital for treatment but the hospital staff rejected their pleas presumable because of policy decided by hospital managers. In a very few cases care home managements have alleged that some of their residents have just been abandoned at the entrance giving the care home no option but to take in their resident.
I think the vast majority of front line medical staff have been working their socks off and risking their own well-being but there's the occasional bad egg in any organisation (especially large ones) and sometimes it's involved a whole section of the organisation. Over the years a few GPs have been revealed as mass killers and there have been nurses and others who have deliberately caused deaths in hospitals by administering overdoses of medications and other substances. A few hospitals have been condemned as severely substandard; Stafford ring any bells? Wasn't there a children's hospital where infant deaths were way over the national average? Yes, such cases are very rare but they do happen. No doubt there are sub-standard care homes where residents have died prematurely or suffered abuse at the hands of staff but most are pretty good.
It's too easy to blame the government for everything; in many cases the best a government, or ministers, can do is close the stable door after finding out about any roguery then do their best to prevent similar events in future. If any of the alleged malfeasance is proven I agree there should be prosecutions of the perpetrators.