January 19, 2021

“We fear we will not be able to make transfers to the hospital”

The lack of foresight on the part of the Community of Madrid of the consequences that the worst storm in recent years would bring about begins to wreak havoc. At the Reina Sofía public residence, in the municipality of Las Rozas, none of the workers who started their shift at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, January 8, imagined that after more than fifty hours without being able to leave the facilities, the circumstances , once the Filomena storm had passed, they would continue to be prevented from leaving the workplace. Both workers and family members fear that any resident who requires it may not be transferred to the referral hospital, since the entrance to the premises continued on Sunday afternoon with a thick layer of snow. The Community Social Policies Department, in turn, stresses that the situation is under control and that none of the users will have a problem going to their hospital, and they affirm that cleaning this residence is one of their priorities

“The entrance road is impassable, so we are concerned that some of the residents would have to be transferred to the hospital center,” begins to explain a nurse who has not been able to leave the social health center since Friday and who prefers not to specify her name for fear of retaliation. The Reina Sofía residence was one of the hardest hit by the first wave of Covid-19, causing the number of occupants to drop by one hundred, so there are currently about 320 in a complex that could house up to 550. Likewise, professionals They do not understand why the snow has not been removed, now turned into ice, which prevents access to the area, since they have cleared the service road of the A-6 and not the “50 meters” that separate it from the entrance to residence, paraphrasing the worker. At the moment, there have been no problems with supplies, medicines or food.

She herself affirms that they are “surviving” and that after two days in a row working the forces begin to waver: “Although the residents are fine because their routine does not change and we live with them, we do notice the fatigue”, says the nurse. A colleague of hers, a technician in auxiliary nursing care (TCAE) who does not want to give her name either for fear of retaliation at work, adds that the workers are “desperate and at the limit of their strength.” She should have gone to work on Saturday, January 9, something she tried unsuccessfully as she couldn’t move her car. “The management did not communicate absolutely anything to us, neither how they were working inside nor what we should do outside. I wanted to go and do the relief, but it was impossible for me due to the conditions of the roads”, on their own terms.

Two days and two nights working in the residence

This worker relates that the problems caused by the storm began at the Reina Sofía residence on the same Friday. “Some colleagues who left the afternoon shift on the 9th took the risk of going home by train, and left their cars parked in the residence, but the commuter stopped and they had to walk back to the residence to sleep. 2 in the morning “, specifies the TCAE. These words, he says, serve as a response to what the Department of Social Policies of the Community of Madrid argues, which is responsible for organizing residencies. Sources from the regional administration have confirmed to elDiario.es that many workers continue to double shifts voluntarily.

“Obviously they do it voluntarily because there is no one forcing them to do so, but they have no other choice either. They are workers who have not received any relief and who have been behind them for six shifts because at no time will they stop caring for the children. residents “, responds the TCAE of the residence. From the Ministry, at the same time, they want to send a message of reassurance: “In the event that a user needed an emergency admission to any hospital, it would be carried out in coordination with 112, as has already occurred”. Likewise, they do not know the way in which these extra shifts will be managed economically, that is, how the events will affect the payroll of the workforce, both of those who have not been able to access and those who have not been able to leave the health centers and socio-sanitary.

No information from management

Fernando Amado is the director of the residence, one of the few totally public management that exists in the Community of Madrid. From his point of view and according to the information provided by the person responsible for the residence in his absence, there is no problem in the center: “We are one of the residences in the best conditions and with a greater number of workers” , has commented. On the other hand, Laura López – a relative of a resident of the center – prefers to distrust Amado: “During the confinement in March we saw how from the management certain initiatives of the workers who tried to help us contact the residents, as happened with the video calls” , on your own terms.

Her 92-year-old grandmother lives in the Reina Sofía residence and fears that she will suffer one of the sudden peaks caused by her diabetes and need to be hospitalized, as has happened previously. “The management has not communicated anything to us, thank goodness that there are workers who reassure us and are willing to do whatever it takes,” he says. In addition, López also emphasizes that the entrance to the complex should have been cleared at the same time the service road was cleaned: “It is a very large enclosure, with gardens, but where they receive food is on the side of back, so right now there will be about 200 meters of road totally impassable. ”

He also denounces the lack of communication between the management of the center and the family members, since many of them, close to people who are totally dependent, find out through private chats about the situation in which the residence where his grandmother lives is located. “We have great tension because we see that the same thing is happening as in March, when they did not provide us with any kind of official information about the state of our elders. Hopefully not, but it seems that they are once again abandoned,” ditch.

“Let’s wait and don’t freeze too much”

From doors to inside the residence they have not stayed with their arms crossed either. A priori, some unsuccessful communications with the Las Rozas City Council have made them turn to the Community of Madrid, from where they do not provide any conclusive information either. The mobilization of some relatives of the inmates has made the cleaning of this residential center one of the preferences for the Department of Social Policies: “We have been told that it was an absolute priority due to the number of totally dependent residents we have, about 270 , although they have not confirmed any exact time in which they will carry out the work “, in the words of the nurse. Between that and the fact that some private citizens are organizing themselves to make transfers in their 4x4s in solidarity, it seems that professionals will be able to have a break soon. “Now, let’s wait and let it not freeze too much,” the worker ends.


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