Telegraph says 17,000 have died in our care homes. Message from the UN about the treatment of older people. And Parliament urged to decentralise powers to successfully fight Covid 19. Contract tracing and detailed on the ground management should not be done by Whitehall. Disraeli and Churchill were right that“centralisation is the death blow of public freedom”. In the face of Covid 19 centralisation rings the death knell of British citizens too. And further questions about deaths in Care Homes


Coronavirus: Care home deaths


Care home deaths could be four times worse than official figures suggest, with new analysis showing that more than 17,000 deaths in homes across the UK are linked to coronavirus.
Telegraph

United Nations and the elderly

Khaled HASSINE from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has sent me a briefing from the Secretary General of the United Nations on the Impact of Covid-19 on Older Persons (see link below) and a video .

COVID + Older persons

 

Parliament urged to decentralise powers to successfully fight Covid 19. Contract tracing and detailed on the ground management should not be done by Whitehall. Disraeli and Churchill were right that“centralisation is the death blow of public freedom”. In the face of Covid 19 centralisation rings the death knell of British citizens too. And  further questions about deaths in Care Homes

Coronavirus

In a parliamentary question today (April 30th) Lord Alton of Liverpool urged the Government to decentralise responsibility for Coronavirus contract tracing – and other “on the ground decisions” – to directors of public health – because “they understand their local communities, the challenges,  needs and priorities, and are directly in touch and accountable.”

He said that  the Government should “immediately restore the position of Directors of Public Health as executive board members of local authorities, review local authority staffing levels and budgets, and recognise the truth of Disraeli’s famous maxim that “centralisation is the death blow of public freedom” – and democracy. In 1950 Winston Churchill, addressing a mass gathering in Cardiff’s Ninian Park said that “the truth of these words was never more apparent than it is today”.  What was true then is equally true now, with the added tragic observation that in the face of Covid 19 centralisation rings the death knell of British citizens too.”

Returning to an issue he raised yesterday through Questions in Parliament ( https://davidalton.net/2020/04/29/in-questions-today-in-parliament-i-ask-the-government-what-scientific-advice-was-sought-from-public-health-england-before-the-football-match-between-liverpool-and-atletico-madrid-on-11-march-was-permi/ ) he also pressed the Government further on the treatment of older people and the failure to properly safeguard care homes. He asked what consideration the Government  has given to a United Nations’ recommendation to develop triage protocols to “ensure that decisions on whether to allocate medical resource are made on the basis of medical needs, the best scientific evidence available and not on non-medical criteria such as age or disability”,  to “ensure that essential support services at home in the communities can continue without putting older persons and their care providers at risk”.

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Written Questions House of Lords Tabled April 30th 2020

Question text, Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government:

what plans they have to (1) restore the position of Directors of Public Health as executive board members of local authorities, (2) review local authority staffing levels and budgets, (3) give responsibility for testing and contact tracing to local authorities, and (4) decentralise such operations from Whitehall.

 

Question text

what steps they have taken in response to the concerns raised by the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons on 27 March about the protection of older people who are at the highest risk of COVID-19; and what consideration they have given to her recommendation to develop triage protocols to “ensure that decisions on whether to allocate medical resource are made on the basis of medical needs, the best scientific evidence available and not on non-medical criteria such as age or disability”, and to “ensure that essential support services at home in the communities can continue without putting older persons and their care providers at risk”.