Four patients moved from hospital to Fife care homes after positive COVID tests

There were four instances in Fife (Pic: John Devlin)There were four instances in Fife (Pic: John Devlin)
There were four instances in Fife (Pic: John Devlin)
MSP calls for full transparency

Health bosses in Fife have been urged by an MSP to reveal full details on patients released from hospital into care homes after they had tested positive for coronavirus.

The call comes from Alex Rowley after weekend reports that it happened four times in the region.

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NHS Fife stressed none were discharged until at least 14 days after a positive test had been confirmed.

But the news sparked concern, and, in a letter to Carol Potter, chief executive of NHS Fife, Mr Rowley called for “full transparency.”

He said: “You must recognise the disbelief amongst families and friends that the NHS Board would knowingly place people with COVID-19 who are themselves very vulnerable into a care home setting with even more vulnerable people.

“It is my view that this is criminal, and is why I am asking you to provide every bit of information you have on how many people were transferred from hospital into care homes?”

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Mr Rowley wants to know how many were tested - and how many returned a positive result.

The Labour politician said he was concerned that his own Freedom of Information three weeks ago resulted in him being told that NHS Fife didn’t hold such data.

He wants NHS Fife to put in place to review over what happened “in order to provide full transparency on this issue and be able to give assurances that it can never happen again.”

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He said: “ It will be crucial to know what information care homes knew about the people they were being asked to take into their care and what assessment was carried out by NHS Fife of the ability of the care home to care for those individuals. It is also crucial to know what assessment was carried out of the risk to other residents.”

In a joint statement on behalf of NHS Fife and Fife Health & Social Care Partnership, Helen Buchanan, director of nursing, and deputy chief executive, said: “In line with national guidance a small number of patients, less than five, were discharged to care homes in Fife who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.

“Importantly, no patients were discharged until at a least 14 days after a positive test, when the clinical advice and national guidance was that patients could be safely admitted to care homes without causing unnecessary risk to the health of other residents or care home staff.”

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