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Rushed hospital discharges contributed to care home COVID-19 crisis, according to ADASS

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has said that the rushed discharge of patients from hospitals to care homes during the peak of COVID-19, led to a surge in care home deaths.

In a survey of directors, almost a quarter thought that rapid hospital discharges were responsible for more than half of care home infections, with ADASS president James Bullion saying – “A focus on rapid discharge when there were shortages of PPE, questions about testing and the ability to isolate people in social care meant that some people ended up in the wrong place to meet their needs.”

Only 11% of directors felt that every patient was discharged to the right place to meet their needs during the period, while ADASS also found that a significant proportion of people leaving hospital didn’t receive an assessment of their needs as part of their discharge.

The ADASS report goes on to explain how the lack of testing for people leaving hospital could have accelerated the spread of coronavirus in care homes.

“Given what we know about the spread of COVID-19 in care home settings in particular, it is obviously greatly concerning that untested individuals were potentially discharged to settings that had insufficient PPE and also to where suspected COVID-19 positive individual could not isolate safely,” said ADASS.