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Walsall man moved to care home despite positive coronavirus test

An elderly man who tested positive for coronavirus has been moved into a care home against his family's wishes, his daughter has claimed.

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Bob Dunbar with daughter Sue Essery

Bob Dunbar, from Great Barr, had been in hospital with aspiration pneumonia at Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield when he contracted the virus.

But the 87-year-old was deemed "medically fit" to be moved to a care home in Walsall on April 8, his daughter Sue Essery has said.

Sue, aged 54, said: "One day I went into hospital and I came away and got a phone call saying he had tested positive for coronavirus.

"I asked how – there were three others on the ward who were there before my dad.

"We were told by a social worker they were transferring him to a home and I said 'he's tested positive' but they stressed the care home would have things in place.

"I said the NHS couldn't stop it, how can a care home? I feel so sorry for carers."

Mr Dunbar had been living in Aldridge before he was admitted to Walsall Manor Hospital and later transferred to Good Hope Hospital.

He was fitted with a percutaneous endoscopic gastronomy (PEG) tube – which delivers nutrition into his stomach – after a stroke left him unable to swallow.

Mrs Essery described the situation as being "awful" as the family never wanted to put her father in a care home.

Bob Dunbar was moved from Good Hope Hospital to a care home despite testing positive for coronavirus

She said: "You're putting people in the home at risk – he would never want that and he never wanted to go into a home.

"He wanted to go home and they put him in there against his wishes.

"It's awful because I lost my mom in November and a week later I lost my brother – both were from cancer.

"I promised them I would look after him but it's been taken out of my hands.

"It feels like he's been written off and my argument that he should never have been released when he was positive – he should be released when he tests negative.

"I feel like they've written him off to the care home and they've put others at risk.

"Who is the most vulnerable from this? The elderly and why should they have someone coming in who is positive?

"If my dad in there by choice and someone came in who was positive I wouldn't be happy."

But Mrs Essery stressed that despite being moved into a care home her father would continue to fight against Covid-19.

"Even with everything he went through, even with losing his wife and son, he is not giving up." she added.

Walsall Council said it was unable to comment on individual cases.

A spokesman for University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Good Hope Hospital, said: "We are sorry that the family of Mr Dunbar feel unhappy with his care and would urge them to be in touch with the patient relations (PALS) team who are able to look into their concerns."