Patients discharged into Welsh care homes days after positive Covid tests

Fifty-three people were discharged from hospital into care homes in Wales within 15 days of them receiving a positive coronavirus test, according to the Welsh Conservatives.

The party said it had received figures from the Welsh Government showing 167 patients in total were sent to a care home after testing positive between March 1 and May 31.

The Welsh Tories’ shadow health minister Andrew RT Davies (pictured) said the discharging of patients meant Covid-19 may have unintentionally been introduced into “one of the most vulnerable settings”.

He said: “At the start of the pandemic more than a thousand patients were discharged from Welsh hospitals without a test, and this latest information now shows 167 people who were known to have tested positive for coronavirus, were also sent to Welsh care homes.

“A troubling third of these people were transferred within 15 days after a positive test, potentially introducing the virus into one of the most vulnerable settings in Welsh society on a widespread scale.

“These numbers sadly show that the Welsh Labour-led government was unaware of the devastating impact such a decision might have, and it’s important that the future inquiry fully examines the reasons why this took place and brings justice for the families of those who may have tragically lost loved ones.

“Significant concerns remain regarding the Labour administration’s approach to care homes and we again repeat our call for those most vulnerable in our society to be protected with scaled-up, targeted interventions such as regular screening of patient-facing staff.”

First Minister Mark Drakeford was asked about the figures by the Senedd’s Welsh Tory leader Paul Davies in Tuesday’s plenary session, to which the Welsh Labour leader said “further analysis” was needed to make sense of them.

Mr Drakeford said: “We don’t know where those tests were carried out. It is possible they were carried out in the care home to which the person who lives in that care home was being returned.

“It is possible that it happened not in the hospital episode before someone was discharged back into the care home, but in a previous hospital episode.

“So, there are important things that we need to learn about where the tests were carried out, when they were carried out and what impact they may have had.

“That is why we have said that we will carry out further analysis of the figures that were published yesterday, and I think it would be sensible for anybody to wait.”

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