James O'Brien discovers how weak the care sector is during coronavirus crisis

14 April 2020, 18:00 | Updated: 14 April 2020, 19:12

By Seán Hickey

This caller told a story that just summed up the extent to which the social care sector is hanging by a thread.

Carmel is a worker in a care home and told James O'Brien of a horrific situation her workplace has faced during the coronavirus crisis.

She told the story of a Down Syndrome resident of her care home that had absconded for a couple of hours and as days went by, it became apparent that he was suffering with coronavirus. The care home then brought him to hospital to be treated.

"The hospital said they were sending him back with six other patients after four hours" she revealed. The home refused on a number of occasions to accept him back with the other residents as they simply do not have the resources to take care of seven suspected coronavirus patients.

James said that this story was a "perfect example" of how the social care sector has been failed during the outbreak and is struggling to cope with the smallest of issues.

The care sector at high-risk during the coronavirus crisis
The care sector at high-risk during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: PA

He pointed out that it is a simple "lack of provision" that is leading to problems like this arising in the social care sector and is proof that there needs to be a massive injection of resources and management in the industry.

As a result of "the system not being big enough to cope" James pointed out "how big the cracks have become" in an already struggling system. The case of Carmel's patient is further proof of how the system is on its knees.

Admitting how poorly equipped the care home is, Carmel confessed that it is "an inappropriate place for him", not only because they don't have the resources to look after him, but also because they can't risk the spread of the virus in the home.

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify