Dr Cathy Gardner’s statement to Devon Health Scrutiny

From the Seaton and Colyton Matters blog of County Councillor Martin Shaw. 

[Dr Cathy Gardner is funding a Judicial Review against the Health Secretary through crowdfunding. She has met her first target of £10K, her second target of £50K and has now set a new extended target of £75K. Her action is very much in the public interest please help her to hold the Government to account – Owl]

Dr Cathy Gardner’s statement, which she was unable to make to Devon Health Scrutiny yesterday because of technical difficulties

Posted on June 17, 2020 Updated on June 17, 2020

Here are the notes for the statement which Dr Cathy Gardner tried to make to yesterday’s [16 June] Health & Adult Care Scrutiny Committee meeting. Due to problems with Microsoft Teams, she couldn’t be heard, and the statement was read out much later in the meeting. This lost much of its impact, although I and other committee members raised some of the issues.

Good morning, my name is Dr Cathy Gardner. I am speaking today because my father died of probable COVID-19 in an Oxfordshire care home

  • Here in Devon, we may have had a lower number of COVID-19 deaths than elsewhere, but it’s still a scandal that we had ANY deaths in care homes 
  • It’s a scandal that half of all recorded COVID-19 deaths in Devon have been in care homes
  • Some of these were people who were infected when patients were discharged from hospital, without any regard for the consequences. Around the country, some patients were discharged to care homes with proven COVID, others had not even been tested.
  • Did this Council act to protect residents rather than simply complying with government orders?  
  • How will the Council respond if it’s challenged by the relatives of those who died?
  • Outbreaks have continued to develop since new guidelines were published on April 15th , why is this?
  • Care homes should be relaxed, secure places – they shouldn’t be used for treatment and recuperation of people with highly infectious diseases.
  • It is not difficult to isolate care homes to protect residents. Regular testing of staff is essential, including agency workers.  Has this Council done all that it can to ensure that this is happening in Devon?
  • The NHS should provide separate ‘step-down’ care for people who need to be discharged from hospital: has the Council helped with this?
  • What is being done to ensure that care home residents are protected NOW and in the future so that no more COVID-19 infected people are moved into care homes? This virus is not going away anytime soon but we can protect the most vulnerable in our society if we want to.
  • Thank you