British PM under fire for blaming care homes

Elias Hubbard
July 8, 2020

The chairman of the National Care Association, based in Medway, has called on Boris Johnson to apologise after he blamed the high rate of coronavirus deaths in care homes on "too many " providers failing to follow health guidelines.

"The PM was pointing out that nobody knew what the correct procedures were because the extent of asymptomatic transmission was not known at the time", he said.

Speaking during a visit to Goole in Yorkshire, the Prime Minister said: 'One of the things the crisis has shown is we need to think about how we organise our social care package better and how we make sure we look after people better who are in social care.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was accused today of trying to rewrite history for appearing to blame the deadly spread of coronavirus in care homes on the institutions themselves.

Business secretary Alok Sharma defended the prime minister's comments during an appearance on BBC Breakfast.

He was responding to remarks by NHS chief Sir Simon Stevens, who said the coronavirus crisis had shone "a very harsh spotlight" on the resilience of the sector and urged the Government to enact plans for reform within a year.

She said:"When you think of some of the mistakes hat have been made, I am absolutely stunned that he has made those comments and he should retract them.

We've seen 25,000 people discharged from hospitals to care homes without any tests and staff going without vital PPE and most people think that the Prime Minister should learn lessons from what has gone wrong, and instead of blaming care workers should be trying to fix the problem". "We've learnt an terrible lot over the last few months about this virus".

At the same time, ministers are sensitive about criticism over social care, which they have repeatedly promised to reform.

Mr Mark Adams, chief executive of charity Community Integrated Care, said he was "unbelievably disappointed" by Mr Johnson's comments, slamming them as clumsy and cowardly, adding that they represented a dystopian rewriting of history.

The Independent Care Group said most providers had "done their absolute best in the face of slow and conflicting advice".

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think this - at best - was clumsy and cowardly, but, to be honest with you, if this is genuinely his view, I think we're nearly entering a Kafkaesque alternative reality where the Government set the rules, we follow them, they don't like the results and they then deny setting the rules and blame the people that were trying to do their best. It is hugely frustrating".

Care home managers have reacted angrily to the prime minister's comments, saying they followed government advice on protecting their patients and staff. "It is worth remembering that in February the Government agency Public Health England told homes it was "very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home will become infected' and that homes didn't need to do anything differently". Said the Leicester West MP. - Pubs in England reopened this weekend for the first time since late March, bringing cheer to drinkers and the industry but fears of public disorder and fresh coronavirus cases.

The funding aims to help the United Kingdom "build back greener" and meet its legally binding target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, but campaigners say it "doesn't measure up to the economic and environmental crises".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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