Probe into lethal Covid-19 advice at Wigan care home

A Wigan care home is taking disciplinary action after an employee told colleagues they should continue working after testing positive for coronavirus.

Friday, 15th May 2020, 7:00 am

The Wigan Observer understands staff at Ashton View care home, in Ashton, were told they could work if they were not showing any symptoms.

That is against advice from Public Health England that healthcare workers confirmed to have Covid-19, or those with symptoms who have not been tested, should self-isolate for seven days.

The firm that runs the home, HC-One, said they acted “immediately” when they found out staff had been instructed to keep working and internal disciplinary procedures were now being followed.

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Ashton View care home

Care homes have become hotbeds for Covid-19 with many residents and staff’s lives claimed across the country, amid complaints that government strategies have so far failed to shield them and that personal protective equipment provision has been inadequate.

But the advice to those with coronavirus but no symptoms is the same as to those who have them: self-isolate because even if you don’t feel ill you could still pass it on to other people who could be badly affected and even killed by it.

And the risks are even higher in the care community where residents are particularly vulnerable.

Ashton View, which is on Wigan Road, has 58 beds and offers residential and nursing care.

A spokesman for the home said: “Caring for our residents and supporting our colleagues is at the heart of what we do and we are doing everything we can to make sure our residents and colleagues stay safe and well throughout these challenging times.

“We have a comprehensive coronavirus contingency plan in place, which was created by our clinical director and reflects the latest government guidance. We are working closely with our local health and care partners as we tackle the coronavirus outbreak at the home and help as many residents get well again as we can.

“We are clear that any colleague that tests positive for Covid-19 should follow the guidance issued to them by their local Public Health England testing centre. When notified that a colleague at the home suggested that others contravene this advice if they were not experiencing symptoms, we immediately acted to address the erroneous information provided by this individual and to resolve the situation without harm.

“We have told all colleagues that if they test positive for Covid-19 they should not return to work until they are well and have completed the recommended period of self-isolation. We are clear this situation was unacceptable and directly contravenes HC-One’s policies. The appropriate internal disciplinary procedures are now under way.

“We are proud of the huge dedication and commitment to our residents that is being shown by our colleagues in their response to coronavirus. We are providing round-the-clock support for all our teams, and we are also grateful to relatives for their ongoing support and understanding.”

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