Care home boss 'gave Covid jabs to his family friends'

Care home boss ‘gave Covid jabs to his family friends before furious frontline staff’

  • Sarjit Bisla gave family friends doses of Covid-19 vaccine reserved for care staff
  • The Birmingham care home owner claims they were volunteering at his company
  • Paid staff claim they were not told about vaccine doses given out on Saturday  

A care home boss has been accused of giving out Covid-19 vaccines to his family friends before furious frontline staff.

Sarjit Bisla, owner of The Gables residential home in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, accepts he gave out two doses of the vaccine to friends – but insists they were entitled to the jab as they were volunteering at another of his care homes.

Paid staff at the business say they were not told that a GP would be visiting on Saturday to administer the vaccine – which has been prioritised for care home residents and staff, as well as NHS workers and people over 80.  

Mr Bisla said: ‘The reality was we had a very small window to take an opportunity.’

Staff at The Gables care home the owner did not tell them about a vaccine roll-out on Saturday, but did inform two of his family friends. Mr Bilsa says the friends were volunteers at another of his care homes

He said the recipients were not employees but unpaid volunteers who had been helping his organisation who were called to take up doses after attempts to contact off-duty staff living nearby failed.

Despite involving only a small number of doses, the incident provoked fury among frontline staff who care for the home’s older residents, many with dementia.

One claimed they were not told vaccinators would be at the home on Saturday for the pre-arranged visit, and were ‘disgusted’ to learn the owner invited people who did not officially work for the organisation to take up doses.

The carer, who would not be named, said: ‘We are massively upset.

‘I have been here and through all this hell for a year now and it looks like they chose their own friends above us, the staff who work here.’

Mr Bisla denies that claim.

The carer added: ‘It is very very demoralising. I am worried about my position at work if I speak up but this needs to get out, it is just not right at all.’

Mr Bisla also confirmed a complaint linked to the incident had been made to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) by a whistle blower on Monday. 

The whistleblower claimed the visitors to the home did not follow care home protocols and entered without first undergoing a rapid coronavirus test as part of lockdown measures.

Mr Bisla confirmed they did not take a rapid test before entering ‘because of the time urgency involved in getting the vaccines done,’ but said their temperature was taken and health checks done.

He confirmed he had outlined what happened to a CQC inspector during a call on Monday morning.

Mr Bisla said: ‘We did call everybody at the home, all the members of staff, when we knew we had a few extra and that was the first port of call.

‘We then went down the list of who we know were employees and volunteers and I went down who was local and could come in and have a jab.

‘I did not make the calls myself but that’s what happened.

‘We want to get everyone vaccinated this week, all the staff, but we are waiting for the full details from Public Health England on that.’

Staff living near the home, which is on Ashurst Road, Walmley, disputed they were contacted and claimed they had checked their phone records.

One said: ‘I would have been there like a shot.’

The care home in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, has been referred to the Care and Quality Commission over the incident, while on two on-duty staff at the 24-bed home are said to have taken the vaccine when offered

Mr Bisla also confirmed just two of the staff on duty that day in the 24-bed home wanted the vaccine when offered.

One staff member said: ‘A lot of the staff said they didn’t want the vaccine yet, they wanted to see how the first people getting it react first, which I don’t understand at all.’

Mr Bisla confirmed neither he nor his wife Gurinder, the registered manager of the home, took up the offer themselves. 

They did so to leave doses for others, he said.

The whistleblower said: ‘It was really demoralising, to hear both that a vaccine had been on offer and we were not called, and that people entered the home without taking a test who are not part of our regular testing regime.

‘Our relatives cannot come in to visit and that is heartbreaking and devastating for them.’

Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, which is overseeing the vaccination programme in the area, said: ‘While it would not be appropriate for us to comment on individual cases, it is important to note that all care homes are notified and booked in advance by the GPs who are providing the vaccination service in their area, to ensure the necessary arrangements are made in advance and compliance to strict infection prevention measures.

‘GPs will only vaccinate those people in the current priority groups, this includes care home staff.’

Source: Read Full Article