Newton Abbott hospital is to be a ‘Covid-free site’ – now can we have Covid-free step-down care, and stop discharges of people who’ve had Covid from hospitals into care homes?

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I welcome this announcement by Torbay & S Devon NHS Trust: ‘We have been putting plans in place to provide care in other places such as at Newton Abbot Hospital which is a ‘covid-free’ site, this means that we are not using the hospital to treat people with the virus. As part of this at Newton Abbot we are now piloting thermal imaging with the help of the University of Plymouth to support keeping all our patients and staff safe. Anybody going into the hospital will pass a scanner that will detect a raised temperature, a key sign of infection.’

Now can we have the same consideration for care home residents, by creating special Covid step-down care and stop pressurising care homes to take people who have had Covid?  This is particularly important in view of new information that some people suffer Covid for two months or more, with periods in which it appears to go away followed by ‘recrudescence’ of the disease. In this case, a 14-day quarantine may be insufficient. Separate intermediate care will also assist with the specialist rehabilitation which it is increasingly apparent many hospitalised Covid patients require.

70  Covid outbreaks in Devon care homes: nearly half are still active –

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