We Need to Keep the Politics Out of the Debate and Learn From the Pandemic
Following the publication of leaked WhatsApp messages in The Telegraph this week, Healthcare Management Solutions’ CEO Tony Stein has been telling LBC that we should kick the politics out of the debate to focus on learning lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dubbed ‘The Lockdown Files’, the leaked messages have provided an inside look into government decision-making around the height of the pandemic.
During a discussion about the leaked messages relating to Covid-19 testing guidance for care homes, Tony Stein told LBC’s Steve Allen that the focus should turn back to what actually happened and how we can learn from it for future pandemics.
“What I think is very very important is that we try and kick the politics out of this whole debate and we try and get back to an objective view of what actually happened, what were the circumstances around the decision-making and that we learn from it.”
Tony went on to say: “It just frightens me that, because we disagreed with Boris (Johnson) or because we disagreed with Matt Hancock, or because we’ve got a certain political leaning and we want to make a case, I think it’s dangerous to do that because we may not learn the right lessons.”
The Responsibility is Always on the Operator
When quizzed about government testing guidance for new care home residents at the start of the pandemic, Tony pointed out how Healthcare Management Solutions followed government guidance on testing prior to admission but overlayed their own experience of infection control on that and took further steps to reduce the risk of transmission including isolation periods and barrier nursing.
Tony said: “Personally, I think the way we dealt with it, given the information available at the time, certainly in our homes, of treating everybody that came in as potentially infected, and knowing they were going to have close contact with other residents. Isolating them for the quarantine period and then allowing them into the general population of the home, I think that seemed to work for us.”
During the interview, Mr Stein also made it clear that the varying sizes, physical layout and staffing arrangements of some care homes would not always make be appropriate for the quarantining of new residents. In this case, company policy would be to not take new admissions in order to ensure the safety of existing residents.
He added: “This annoys me when I hear other operators complaining about government and government guidance because ultimately, the government never told us we had to take admissions. The responsibility is always on the operator to ensure that it is safe to admit, and if the operators who are complaining didn’t think it was safe to admit without a test, they shouldn’t have admitted.”
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