On October 27, the Xunta intervened the residence of Salvaterra de Miño, in the metropolitan area of Vigo. It accumulated 110 infections (84 residents and 26 workers) that have now decreased to 91 (64 residents, after the death of 13, and 27 employees) and it was necessary to “guarantee the quality of care” and the “correct protection” of the health of all them, indicated the Ministry of Social Policy. After 14 days, the situation in the center is terrifying, according to the complaint registered this Monday in the Inspection of Social Services of the Xunta by the Association of Residence Workers of Galicia (Trega). The writing, backed up with photographs, reveals extreme situations of abandonment. This Tuesday, Social Policy sent the first inspection to the center. “In the event that any breach of the regulations is found, action will be taken accordingly,” says the department.
Elderly “locked in rooms without bells”; residents who “in 90% of cases have ulcers” caused by immobility and by wearing “the same diapers for hours”; broken and dirty mattresses, like sheets that “barely change”; poor maintenance and sanitation of the facilities; beds that are not clinics and cannot be raised; non-adapted toilets and shortage of material. This is the horrifying scenario described in the text and the photographs of the complaint registered by Trega.
The group shows that the assumption by the Xunta of the management of all the areas of the Salvaterra residence does not seem to have improved the situation of the center and the users. The decisions in the residence, property of the company Residencia Salvatierra SL, have been the responsibility of the Xunta for 14 days, which ensures that it has “substantially reinforced” the nursing staff with 35 workers. An increase that has allowed “to cover the losses of all infected employees and still increase the original workforce,” says the Ministry of Social Policy.
“The elderly can spend from 10 in the morning until mid-afternoon sitting in a chair without any postural movement,” says the president of Trega, Sonia Jalda, who does not work in the center, but assures that the workers of the residence have transferred to the association what the situation is. The group it represents assures that the number of residents exceeds by twenty the 108 places (72 subsidized through public concerts) that the center owns while the workforce, which should be 50 workers, was decimated by the loss of 27 of them, sick with covid, before the reinforcement of the Xunta.
The staff cannot explain why the Social Services Inspectorate has not acted “neither before nor during the intervention” of the residence by the Xunta, something they consider “a clear neglect of functions with disastrous consequences for the health of users and workers” . The Ministry of Social Policy responds that they had not come to this center because they carry out random inspections or when there is a complaint, as has happened now. “” We have not been able to act faster, “says a spokesman.
In the complaint of the group it is evident that the residence did not have cranes to move the residents. A deficiency that was resolved this Monday, “just after registering the document”, according to the association’s account. And this Tuesday a position of the council contacted Trega to express his willingness to visit the center and learn about the situation in detail and see how to tackle the deficiencies. However, the complainant group assures that the coordinator of the residence “presses all the staff to mobilize all users manually”, despite the fact that they already have cranes, coming from a center in Vigo. “This practice can cause physical damage, high risk of falls and overloads to the workers,” warns the group.
Jalda affirms that part of the center’s staff has had to be treated for panic attacks and also for traumatic injuries. And he adds that there are female workers in a situation of incapacity for work “because not everyone is good enough to work in these conditions, without the means to be able to help some elderly dependents.” The rooms also have material “deficiencies” and “no maintenance”. They do not even have dropper sticks to hang the intravenous medication, which has to be hung “from the lamps,” according to his account.
“It is incomprehensible that a staff of 50 people, including doctors, nurses, assistants, cleaning workers, etc., has been maintained for years to attend to 108 elderly people, most with mobility problems,” protests Jalda. And he assures that the complaint has been possible thanks to the incorporation to the residence, once intervened, of the public personnel who were displaced there. Those hired by the owner company did not speak before.
The president of Trega regrets that a pandemic had to come “so that we have evidence of the treatment that the elderly are receiving in centers that, although private, like this one, are financed with our money because of the 108 places, 72 are concerted ”. The group recalls that more than 40% of the 988 deaths from covid in Galicia were older than living in residences.
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