Nursing home residents were viewed as ‘expendable’ during lockdown, Kieran Cuddihy has claimed.
Between March 2020 and March 2023, 27% of all people who died with COVID-19 were living in nursing homes.
Elderly people are more vulnerable to COVID-19 and Kieran said while it is a “shocking statistic”, it is not surprising either.
“There was an attitude at the time, among some policy makers and some medical professionals, that nursing home residents were kind of expendable,” he said.
“That was the view.
“I doubt it was ever stated expressly, I doubt it was ever written down - but there was evidence for that at the time anecdotally - certainly, in how the outbreak was managed in the early days.
“I know of a nursing home in the Midlands that was approached by the local hospital, that hospital was ‘clearing the decks’ before COVID took hold and before they were inundated with patients.
“They said to the nursing home, ‘We want you to take these four patients.’
“The nursing home said, ‘Absolutely grand, no problem, just do a quick COVID test on them first’ - and the hospital refused.”
As figures are released that show that 27% of our Covid-19 deaths happened in nursing homes, there have been increased calls for a public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic. @TheHardShoulder pic.twitter.com/LqS6ja7Ays
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) February 28, 2023
The nursing home manager held their ground and nd the hospital reluctantly carried out the tests.
“Lo and behold, they [the patients] had COVID and they would have spread COVID right throughout that nursing home,” Kieran said.
“They had to have known in the hospital that there was a possibility that those patients had COVID.
“That’s why they didn’t want to test them - because they strongly suspected they probably had COVID but the attitude was, ‘Nursing home residents? They’re screwed anyway. And you know what? Let’s focus instead on saving other people.’
"Which is actually another way of saying, ‘Let’s focus on people we think are more worthy of saving’ - which is an appalling attitude and which is why we need a public inquiry.”