Care home employee told to stay at work despite positive Covid-19 test

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A staff member at a residential care home in the West Midlands was told to remain at work despite testing positive for Covid-19.

According to news reports, care sector regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found the Leylands Residential Care Home in Wolverhampton had failed to ensure that staff consistently followed Covid-19 guidelines.

The regulator’s report says that one employee had been told they were required to stay at work following testing positive for coronavirus, while another was encouraged by the management team to return to work despite having been in contact with confirmed Covid-19 case.

This placed staff and residents at risk of “serious harm”, the report suggests.

Care home owner Bal Bisla told regional news site Birmingham Live that it had “one very small isolated episode [of Covid-19] in late December and we controlled it”.

“No one went to hospital and no one died,” said Bisla, who added the CQC’s findings were “very unfair”.

“I want everyone to know we are very, very strict on Covid safeguarding and our staff follow the government guidelines to the letter. They do everything possible to ensure everyone in the home gets the best care possible,” he said.

Government guidelines state that workers who test positive for Covid-19 are legally require to self-isolate, along with any colleagues they have been in contact with.

It is an offence in England for an employer to knowingly allow a worker or agency worker to attend the workplace during the isolation period and they could face a fine of between £1,000 and £10,000. The offence applies only where the employer is aware of the requirement for the worker to self-isolate.

Employees are entitled to statutory sick pay while self-isolating, but some staff in England may also be eligible for a £500 discretionary support payment from the government.

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