230 hospital transfers to care homes in Fife

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Health bosses admit some may not have been tested

Around 230 patients have been moved from hospitals to care homes in Fife since the start of the coronavirus pandemic – and health bosses admit some of them were not tested.

The figures were released for the first time in response to a question from the Fife Free Press.

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It followed on from a a question raised by Councillor Neil Crooks, who convenes Kirkcaldy’s area committee, at the online meeting of Fife Council’s policy and co-ordination committee last week.

He was told that while national guidelines were followed at all times, some may not have been tested.

In March, 175 people were admitted to a care home in Fife, and 117 came from a hospital setting.

In April, 95 people were admitted, with 49 from a hospital setting – and in the first two weeks of May, 18 of the 43 admissions were from hospital.Testing was only included in the Scottish Government’s updated guidance from April 11.

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But Fife Council and Fife Health and Social Care Partnership (FHSCP) said anyone in the region with symptoms or was unwell would have remained in hospital.

And anyone who went to a care home would have self-isolated for 14 days once there.

It stressed that some testing was also done prior to the April 11 guidance,

Nicky Connor director of health care, told councillors Government advice on discharge had been followed at all times, but added: “There may have been discharges without testing in advance.

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“We have protocols for testing before discharge. These testing procedures have grown during this time.”

She added: “We have continued to follow the national guidance which has been regularly updated. We are working closely with the Health Protection Team to ensure that care homes have the support they need.

“A Care Home Oversight Group and support team are in place to oversee this work including guidance and information, testing and PPE. In addition, there is a Directors Care Home Assurance Group involving senior professional, clinical and operational leaders with NHS Fife, Fife Council and Fife HSCP.

Care homes also have direct access to the Urgent Care Covid Hub and dedicated home visiting service.”

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