Daughter fears mum ‘is a sitting duck’ as covid care home outbreak delays booster vaccine

A worried daughter fears her 91-year-old mum is a ‘sitting duck’ after a Covid-19 outbreak at her West Lothian care home delayed residents’ booster vaccines.

By Jolene Campbell
Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 4:55 am

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.

Fiona Robertson said she fears her mum Christina, who has dementia, is at risk of getting the virus at the Crofthead Care Home in Fauldhouse, where around forty per cent of residents have tested positive in the last two months. Its understood 22 out of 55 residents have tested positive for the virus since early September.

But staff at the home told relatives that the local public health team will not come into the home to deliver crucial booster vaccines until all residents have tested negative for two consecutive weeks – despite the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation having advised that boosters be administered at least six months after the second vaccine dose.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Crofthead Care home in Fauldhouse has seen forty per cent of residents get covid-19 since September

Mrs Robertson said: “Who has let this happen? The booster delay is putting my mum and everyone in that home in a terrible situation. She’s a sitting duck.

"Mum had her second vaccine in February so it’s already well past the six months as are most of the residents now.

"We were told it’s policy not to send in vaccine team unless the home is two weeks clear of the virus. They need to find another way to make the boosters happen as a matter of urgency. I feel it is only a matter of time until my mum gets Covid.”

In an update to families, the manager confirmed that three new cases of Covid-19 have been identified after the latest weekly tests carried out on October 27.

Fiona Robertson and her mum Christina, 91

The Care Inspectorate said there are no ‘hard and fast rules’ around delivering boosters to care homes and stressed individual public health teams dealing with outbreaks at local level would determine access to the home.

But families are worried that it’s putting residents at serious risk in winter months ahead and have written to local MSPs urging them to step in and get boosters delivered to the home.

Relatives were informed on Friday, October 29 that the home remains closed but family are now allowed ‘essential’ visits, where lack of contact is causing distress.

Mrs Robertson said she is so worried about her frail mum that she had to push for an essential visit after the home closed to relatives for more than six weeks following the outbreak.

Read More

Read More
MSP demands action over ‘chaos’ in booking system causing booster vaccine delays...

"The home closed to visitors for six weeks as a result of the outbreak. I was told they could only allow a visit if it was ‘essential’. I was distressed and angry, knowing my mum hadn’t seen anyone for so long,” she said.

"They let me visit after I pushed but they could have been doing that all along. She’s frail and doesn't understand why we couldn’t visit, she has been confused and isolated.

"Most residents are confined to their rooms to stop the spread, though mum is allowed out in the lounge. I can’t take her to a drop in for the booster so it’s frustrating that we can’t get any clear answers on when this will be sorted.”

A spokesman for the health and social care partnership said it was working with the care home owners to ‘provide advice and support’.

“We cannot discuss individual residents but every effort is being made to ensure all care home residents receive their vaccine booster as quickly as possible. The vast majority of care home residents in West Lothian have received their booster,” he said.

“In line with the guidance set out by Public Health Scotland, when outbreaks occur in care homes we must minimise the movement in and out of the home t protect the residents and staff which can, unfortunately, result in some residents having to wait longer to receive their vaccine.”

Carewise Homes declined to comment.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.