The failure to test, the failure to provide PPE, and the discharge of patients with Covid from hospitals into care homes, has been compounded by the failure to provide care homes with the resources to see through this crisis – as one home in Liverpool sees 20 of its residents die. Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England told a Parliamentary Select Committee that from the start of the pandemic care homes were a second thought despite housing the “most vulnerable people”.
The National Care Forum says that data delay left care homes ‘fighting a losing battle’ with coronavirus – as the latest Office of National Statistics figures show there have been more than 20,000 excess deaths in care homes, twice as many deaths in care homes in England, Wales and Scotland during the coronavirus pandemic than would be expected in normal times
The National Care Forum says that the response by care homes to Covid 19 was compromised because of the failure to publish data about outbreaks in the sector until the end of April. It left care homes fighting the pandemic “with their hands tied”
Meanwhile, a Government Minister claims that the Government needed to make a choice about testing and focused on the NHS as it “was absolutely essential”.
The failure to test, the failure to provide PPE, and the discharge of patients with Covid from hospitals into care homes, has been compounded by the faiure to provide care homes with the resources to see through this crisis. Homes in Sheffield have written to the City Council saying that they are “in desperate need of immediate financial support”. Financial support pledged by central government last month had not materialised even though the Government has promised a total of £3.2 billion in additional funding for councils, with a further £600 million earmarked specifically for infection control in care homes.
Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England which represents care homes, told the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee that from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic care homes were a second thought despite housing the “most vulnerable people”. He also said there had been no recommendation for how care homes should react to a pandemic when the Government planned for one in 2016.
Among the consequences have been the devastating loss of life across the sector and individual homes, such as the Paisley Care Home in Liverpool, where twenty residents have died:
Written Questions from Lord Alton of Liverpool, May 21st 2020.
what assessment they have made of the deaths of 20 residents at the Paisley Care Home in Liverpool from suspected COVID-19; and what measures are in place (1) to prevent the spread of that virus, and (2) to ensure the safety of residents and staff, in care homes.
In a Parliamentary reply the Government fails to answer claims by to Doctors Association UK about problems with personal protection equipment and reports that PPE is being shipped from the UK to Germany, Spain, and Italy, because UK companies claim that offers of help have not been pursued
Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL2996):
Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of (1) the application developed by Doctors Association UK about problems with personal protection equipment (PPE); and (2) reports that PPE is being shipped from the UK to Germany, Spain, and Italy, because UK companies claim that offers of help have not been pursued. (HL2996)
Tabled on: 22 April 2020
We are working around the clock to give the social care sector and wider National Health Service the equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak.
Sourcing sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment is a challenge that many countries are facing. We are working to expand supply from overseas, improve domestic manufacturing capability and expand and improve the logistics network for delivering to the front line.
The full weight of the Government is behind this effort and we are working closely with industry, social care providers, the NHS, and the army to ensure the right equipment continues to be delivered.
Date and time of answer: 20 May 2020 at 17:02.
And Parliamentary Questions about the Reform of the World Health Organisation
Question text by Lord Alton of Liverpool
what assessment they have made of the case for reform of the World Health Organisation; and what steps they intend to take to ensure the organisation commissions an independent inquiry into the genesis of COVID-19.
what assessment they have made of (1) reports that the World Health Organisation (WHO) cooperated with the government of China to suppress information about the emergence of COVID-19, and (2) the extent of the influence of that government within the WHO. [T]