Answers from Government today on letters circulated by GP surgeries to residents in care homes in the East of England stating that residents are “unlikely to benefit from mechanical ventilation” and will not be offered the treatment in hospital if admitted with COVID-19; a reply on the protection of public health in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. And further Questions to Government about the scale of deaths in care homes and under reporting.

Answers from Government today on letters circulated by GP surgeries to residents in care homes in the East of England stating that residents are “unlikely to benefit from mechanical ventilation” and will not be offered the treatment in hospital if admitted with COVID-19; a reply on the protection of public health in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. And further Questions to Government about the scale of deaths in care homes and under reporting.

Covid 3

Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL3292):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool :
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that letters have been circulated by GP surgeries to residents in care homes in the East of England stating that residents are “unlikely to benefit from mechanical ventilation” and will not be offered the treatment in hospital if admitted with COVID-19; whether any such letters have been circulated elsewhere; and on what authority and basis such guidance was issued. [T] (HL3292)

Tabled on: 21 April 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

We are aware of reports of people in care homes being told by general practitioner (GP) surgeries that they are unlikely to be prioritised for mechanical ventilation if they contract COVID-19, because they could be too ‘frail’. This stemmed from recent National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on prioritising critical care. NICE was forced to revise the guidance, which included use of the clinical frailty scale (CFS), following allegations it discriminated against people with learning and other disabilities. The guidance was revised on 25 March 2020 and now states: “The Clinical Frailty Score should not be used in younger people, people with stable long-term disabilities (for example, cerebral palsy), learning disability or autism. An individualised assessment is recommended in all cases where the CFS is not appropriate.”

A letter was sent on 3 April 2020 to primary care, acute trusts and community trusts from the National Director of Mental Health, National Clinical Director (for Learning Disability and Autism) and the Medical Director for Primary Care to the NHS on the appropriate use of Do not Resuscitate forms and clinical frailty assessments (which can be used to assess whether critical care is appropriate for a patient) following recent reports on inappropriate use. A copy of the letter is attached.

Furthermore, a letter to the system from Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer, and Steve Powis, National Medical Director at NHS England and NHS Improvement was sent out on 7 April 2020, addressing concerns recently raised regarding the use of DNR forms and supporting best practice in the application of advance care plans. A copy of the letter is attached.

Finally, NHS England and NHS Improvement have produced a GP Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for managing COVID-19 in general practice, published on 6 April. This includes a COVID-19 advance care plan template, guidance notes for completing an advance care plan and states that “Advance care plans should be made on an individual basis. It is not acceptable for advance care plans, with or without Do Not Attempt Resuscitation forms, to be applied to groups of patients”. A copy of the SOP is attached.

The following documents were submitted as part of the answer and are appended to this email:

  1. File name: C0133-COVID-19-Primary-Care-SOP-GP-practice_V2.1_6-April(1).pdf
    Description: COVID_Primary_Care_SOP_GP_practice
  2. File name: C0166-Letter-LD AUTISM DNACPR.pdf
    Description: Letter_LD_AUTISM_DNACPR
  3. File name: CNO Covid letter maintaining-standards-quality-of-care-pressurised-circumstances-7-april-2020.pdf
    Description: Letter_ maintaining_standards_quality

Date and time of answer: 18 May 2020 at 16:17.

Links to these documents are:

May 18 CNO Covid letter maintaining-standards-quality-of-care-pressurised-circumstances-7-april-2020May 18 C0166-Letter-LD AUTISM DNACPRMay 18 C0133-COVID-19-Primary-Care-SOP-GP-practice_V2.1_6-April(1)Lord Bethell,

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Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL3918):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to protect public health in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. (HL3918)

Tabled on: 05 May 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

The Government takes the welfare of all citizens seriously and we are working hard to ensure people get the support they need to look after themselves and their families during the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes enabling all communities to take the necessary measures to reduce the spread of the virus.

The Minister of State for Home Affairs and Housing, Communities and Local Government (Lord Greenhalgh) wrote to councils outlining their responsibility to support all communities, including Gypsy and Traveller communities, and to ensure they have access to water, sanitation and waste collections.

COVID-19 health guidance for members of Gypsy, Traveller and Boater communities is currently in development for dissemination in a range of formats.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have written to general practice reminding them of the importance of continuing to deliver appropriate care to their local population and the requirements on registration of patients, including those with no fixed address.

Date and time of answer: 18 May 2020 at 16:03.

==========================

Question text

 

Lord Alton to ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the report by Adelina Comas-Herrera and Jose-Luis Fernandez at the London School of Economics England: Estimates of mortality of care home residents linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, published on 12 May, which found that “data on deaths in care homes directly attributed to COVID-19 underestimate the impact of the pandemic on care home residents” and that such data accounted for “an estimate 41.6 per cent of all excess deaths in care homes”; what assessment they have made of the accuracy of the data provided by the Office for National Statistics that 8,314 people had died from COVID-19 in care homes from 13 March to 8 May; what were the causes of the additional 10,000 recorded deaths in care homes during that period between 13 March and 1 May as set out in the report; and whether the total number of deaths over that period represents 18,000 more than the average estimate in previous years.

 

Question text

Lord Alton to ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the comments by the UN Human Rights Commissioner about the operation of care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic; what assessment they have made of reports of care home staff (1) abandoning care homes, (2) leaving residents to die alone, (3) failing to make adequate preparations, and (4) failing to provide guidance and personal protection equipment; what assessment they have made, in assessing such reports, of the human rights of patients and staff in care homes; and what plans they have to support the call for a UN convention on the rights of the elderly.

Also see:

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/16/two-disturbing-reports-from-reuters-and-the-daily-telegraph-about-what-has-led-to-the-appalling-loss-of-life-in-our-care-homes-make-for-extremely-disturbing-reading/

And:

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/13/may-12-13th-speech-in-parliament-about-coronavirus-and-care-homes-questions-asked-and-others-answered-in-parliament-about-the-effects-of-covid-19-on-care-homes-and-stranded-seafarers-and-a-questi/

And:

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/05/more-disturbing-reports-about-care-homes-covid-19-is-stalking-the-uks-care-homes-and-challenges-the-claim-that-from-the-very-beginning-the-authorities-have-put-the-protecti/

.

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/03/todays-observer-says-in-an-editorial-that-the-care-home-death-toll-is-an-indictment-of-our-society-they-are-right-james-bullion-the-new-president-of-the-association-of-directors-of-adult-soci/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/23/house-of-lords-virtual-debate-on-covid-19-and-the-impact-on-care-homes-april-23rd-2019-when-will-care-homes-be-provided-with-adequate-supplies-of-ppe-and-their-staff-routinely-and-regularly-tested/

https://davidalton.net/2020/03/19/house-of-lords-debate-on-hong-kong-china-and-coronavirus-why-suppressing-information-rather-than-the-virus-has-cost-lives-and-set-back-the-time-required-time-to-develop-a-vaccine-the-heroism-of-wu/

https://davidalton.net/2020/03/24/coronavirus-questions-and-letters-to-ministers-since-february-availability-of-drugs-to-treat-symptoms-lack-of-ventilators-and-protective-clothing-for-nhs-medics-the-need-for-more-rapid-testing/

https://davidalton.net/2020/03/28/recent-written-questions-and-answers-in-parliament-by-david-alton/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/02/coronavirus-ministers-challenged-about-delays-in-testing-drugs-replies-about-how-infections-occur-and-the-production-of-more-ventilators/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/02/coronavirus-government-replies-about-the-benefits-of-the-use-of-tocilizumab-in-the-treatment-of-severe-cases-of-interstitial-pneumonia-linked-to-covid-19-the-current-availability-of-ventilators-in/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/02/dr-jon-hastie-has-duchene-muscular-dystrophy-facing-the-prospect-of-a-refusal-to-treat-him-if-he-contracts-coronavirus-he-says-please-dont-let-people-like-me-die-without-giving-s-a/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/02/burmese-cardinal-speaks-out-of-asia-for-asia-and-the-world-says-chinas-lies-and-propaganda-have-put-millions-of-lives-around-the-world-in-danger-that-instead-of-profiting-from-the-pandem/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/13/the-government-must-urgently-release-details-of-covid-deaths-in-care-homes-and-support-their-staff-britain-needs-a-national-care-service-with-thousands-dying-parliament-is-missing-in-action/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/21/covid-19-the-government-repeatedly-says-it-is-fallowing-the-science-but-why-some-science-and-not-other-science-in-a-parliamentary-reply-they-say-that-they-have-not-been-in-direct-contac/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/25/julie-bass-chief-executive-of-turning-point-says-making-an-advance-decision-not-to-administer-cpr-if-a-persons-heart-stops-solely-because-they-have-a-learning-disability-is-not-o/

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/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/30/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/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/30/covid-without-safety-nets-facing-coronavirus-from-a-place-of-destitution-and-despair-a-reflection-for-liverpool-parish-church-50-days-of-easter-this-is-a-moment-to-put-the-genius/

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/01/under-the-cloak-of-darkness-how-covid19-can-be-used-as-a-cover-to-curb-individual-rights-and-freedoms-which-parliament-must-defend-temporary-losses-must-not-become-permanent-the-coronavirus-crisis/

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/14/may-14-covid19-tests-for-care-home-residents-and-employees-a-complete-system-failure-questions-in-parliament/

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/14/food-supply-and-food-security-for-the-uks-66-million-people-during-covid-19-it-should-consider-the-need-for-seasonal-workers-the-challenge-faced-by-the-unemployed-and-low-income-families-and-the/

.https://davidalton.net/2020/05/14/government-replies-on-advice-given-to-care-homes-about-the-care-of-residents/

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/14/government-responds-to-parliamentary-question-asking-what-steps-they-are-taking-to-identify-and-protect-victims-of-human-trafficking-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/15/government-replies-to-questions-about-why-their-admission-and-care-of-residents-during-covid-19-incident-in-a-care-home-guidance-does-not-recommend-that-a-resident-should-be-isolated-until-they-have/

 

 

Government Minister’s welcome promise to to establish a Global Human Rights (‘Magnitsky-style’) sanctions regime in the coming months allowing the UK “to respond to serious human rights violations or abuses anywhere in the world.” The Government deserve to be congratulated for this but Dominic Raab needs to ensure that the commitment isn’t watered down by failing to introduce amendable primary legislation

Government Minister’s welcome promise to to establish a Global Human Rights (‘Magnitsky-style’) sanctions regime in the coming months allowing the UK “to respond to serious human rights violations or abuses anywhere in the world.” The Government deserve to be congratulated for this but Dominic Raab needs to ensure that the commitment isn’t watered down by failing to introduce amendable primary legislation

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL3737):

Question by Lod Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to publish, in draft, any secondary legislation relating to the introduction of a Magnitsky-style sanction regime prior to any such legislation being laid before the House; and whether such sanctions will cover those who, directly or indirectly, (1) profit from, and (2) are involved in, human rights abuses. (HL3737)

Tabled on: 30 April 2020

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

We will lay secondary legislation in Parliament under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 to establish the Global Human Rights (‘Magnitsky-style’) sanctions regime in the coming months. A global human rights sanctions regime will allow us to respond to serious human rights violations or abuses anywhere in the world. We are a global leader in the promotion and protection of human rights and we want to demonstrate that the UK can be a force for good in the world.

All designations will need to meet the legal tests as set out in the Sanctions Act, which includes ensuring designations are underpinned by robust evidence. The sanctions regime is not intended to target individual countries, but those who commit serious human rights violations or abuses anywhere in the world.

Date and time of answer: 13 May 2020 at 14:58.

Also see:

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/05/uk-government-says-in-parliamentary-replies-today-that-it-is-following-closely-the-arrests-of-pro-democracy-politicians-in-hong-kong-and-that-they-expect-the-chinese-authorities-to-respect-and/

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/05/the-uks-foreign-secretary-dominic-raab-is-to-be-congratulated-for-making-it-clear-that-the-uk-will-not-be-indifferent-to-those-who-abuse-human-rights-in-hong-kong/

https://davidalton.net/2020/03/22/45-uk-parliamentarians-call-on-the-foreign-secretary-dominic-raab-to-ensure-that-a-new-law-named-after-the-russian-lawyer-sergei-magnitsky-imposes-sanctions-on-corrupt-oligarchs-as-well-as-on-th/

Two disturbing reports – from Reuters and the Daily Telegraph – about what has led to the appalling loss of life in our care homes make for extremely disturbing reading.

.

Points scoring or seeking political advantage has no place in the midst of a national crisis. But we do have a duty to ask searching questions about how we have responded to the appalling death toll of Covid 19 in our care homes.

These two reports from Reuters and the Daily Telegraph make for extremely disturbing reading.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-britain-carehomes-idUKKBN22R1NA

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/05/12/governments-handling-covid-19-british-disaster/?fbclid=IwAR2j84DqaN3l5UcLPTa6KC-DLBLlBGYc8MDyQpX46zJ_SIbZXP92VhpsFKw

 

The article in the Daily telegraph was written by  Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, its respected International Business Editor:

I have been silent on Covid-19 for a while. There was little to be gained from harrying the Government once it had abandoned the misadventure of herd immunity and was at least trying to get a grip.

 

But claims by both Downing Street and Public Health England that they “got it right” cannot be allowed to stand. Nor can the pretence that each stage of the containment policy is being fed out at just right time and at just the right calibration under the Jupiterian guidance of behavioural theorists.

 

There was never anything to be gained from delaying the lockdown once the brushfire had slipped control due to lack of testing/tracing. Each three days of prevarication meant a doubling of the infection case load. It was to sink deeper into the quagmire. Nor did the SAGE committee ever have a sufficient grasp of the basic facts to fine-tune the timing, let alone to play God.

 

The facts will out but it is hard to escape the conclusion that this secretive body – neither institutional fish nor fowl, with opaque responsibilities – gravely misjudged the speed of contagion long after the danger was obvious to virologists, immunologists, and epidemiologists across the world, and indeed to anybody paying attention.

 

Why does it make sense to impose a two-week quarantine on foreign arrivals at this late stage (excluding Ireland and France), rather than having done so when imported cases were first causing an explosion of infections in a virgin host community?

 

A Covid cardiologist at a top London hospital – friendly to Boris – has been so incensed by the daily charade of bogus omniscience that he vented his spleen in an email to me on Sunday night. It is a poignant indictment, so I pass along a few snippets.

 

Basically, every mistake that could have been made, was made. He likened the care home policy to the Siege of Caffa in 1346, that grim chapter of the Black Death when a Mongol army catapulted plague-ridden bodies over the walls.

 

“Our policy was to let the virus rip and then ‘cocoon the elderly’,” he wrote. “You don’t know whether to laugh or cry when you contrast that with what we actually did. We discharged known, suspected, and unknown cases into care homes which were unprepared, with no formal warning that the patients were infected, no testing available, and no PPE to prevent transmission. We actively seeded this into the very population that was most vulnerable.

 

“We let these people die without palliation. The official policy was not to visit care homes – and they didn’t (and still don’t). So, after infecting them with a disease that causes an unpleasant ending, we denied our elders access to a doctor – denied GP visits – and denied admission to hospital. Simple things like fluids, withheld. Effective palliation like syringe drivers, withheld.”

 

The public has yet to realise that the great quest for ventilators was worse than a red herring. The overuse of ventilators was itself killing people at a terrifying ratio and behind that lies another institutional failure.

 

“When the inquiry comes, it will show that many people died for lack of oxygen supply in hospitals, and this led to early intubation,” writes the doctor. “Boris survived because they gave him oxygen. High flow oxygen wasn’t available as a treatment option for all patients.”

Also see:

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/13/may-12-13th-speech-in-parliament-about-coronavirus-and-care-homes-questions-asked-and-others-answered-in-parliament-about-the-effects-of-covid-19-on-care-homes-and-stranded-seafarers-and-a-questi/

And:

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/05/more-disturbing-reports-about-care-homes-covid-19-is-stalking-the-uks-care-homes-and-challenges-the-claim-that-from-the-very-beginning-the-authorities-have-put-the-protecti/

.

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/03/todays-observer-says-in-an-editorial-that-the-care-home-death-toll-is-an-indictment-of-our-society-they-are-right-james-bullion-the-new-president-of-the-association-of-directors-of-adult-soci/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/23/house-of-lords-virtual-debate-on-covid-19-and-the-impact-on-care-homes-april-23rd-2019-when-will-care-homes-be-provided-with-adequate-supplies-of-ppe-and-their-staff-routinely-and-regularly-tested/

https://davidalton.net/2020/03/19/house-of-lords-debate-on-hong-kong-china-and-coronavirus-why-suppressing-information-rather-than-the-virus-has-cost-lives-and-set-back-the-time-required-time-to-develop-a-vaccine-the-heroism-of-wu/

https://davidalton.net/2020/03/24/coronavirus-questions-and-letters-to-ministers-since-february-availability-of-drugs-to-treat-symptoms-lack-of-ventilators-and-protective-clothing-for-nhs-medics-the-need-for-more-rapid-testing/

https://davidalton.net/2020/03/28/recent-written-questions-and-answers-in-parliament-by-david-alton/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/02/coronavirus-ministers-challenged-about-delays-in-testing-drugs-replies-about-how-infections-occur-and-the-production-of-more-ventilators/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/02/coronavirus-government-replies-about-the-benefits-of-the-use-of-tocilizumab-in-the-treatment-of-severe-cases-of-interstitial-pneumonia-linked-to-covid-19-the-current-availability-of-ventilators-in/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/02/dr-jon-hastie-has-duchene-muscular-dystrophy-facing-the-prospect-of-a-refusal-to-treat-him-if-he-contracts-coronavirus-he-says-please-dont-let-people-like-me-die-without-giving-s-a/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/02/burmese-cardinal-speaks-out-of-asia-for-asia-and-the-world-says-chinas-lies-and-propaganda-have-put-millions-of-lives-around-the-world-in-danger-that-instead-of-profiting-from-the-pandem/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/13/the-government-must-urgently-release-details-of-covid-deaths-in-care-homes-and-support-their-staff-britain-needs-a-national-care-service-with-thousands-dying-parliament-is-missing-in-action/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/21/covid-19-the-government-repeatedly-says-it-is-fallowing-the-science-but-why-some-science-and-not-other-science-in-a-parliamentary-reply-they-say-that-they-have-not-been-in-direct-contac/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/25/julie-bass-chief-executive-of-turning-point-says-making-an-advance-decision-not-to-administer-cpr-if-a-persons-heart-stops-solely-because-they-have-a-learning-disability-is-not-o/

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/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/30/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/

https://davidalton.net/2020/04/30/covid-without-safety-nets-facing-coronavirus-from-a-place-of-destitution-and-despair-a-reflection-for-liverpool-parish-church-50-days-of-easter-this-is-a-moment-to-put-the-genius/

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/01/under-the-cloak-of-darkness-how-covid19-can-be-used-as-a-cover-to-curb-individual-rights-and-freedoms-which-parliament-must-defend-temporary-losses-must-not-become-permanent-the-coronavirus-crisis/

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/14/may-14-covid19-tests-for-care-home-residents-and-employees-a-complete-system-failure-questions-in-parliament/

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/14/food-supply-and-food-security-for-the-uks-66-million-people-during-covid-19-it-should-consider-the-need-for-seasonal-workers-the-challenge-faced-by-the-unemployed-and-low-income-families-and-the/

.https://davidalton.net/2020/05/14/government-replies-on-advice-given-to-care-homes-about-the-care-of-residents/

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/14/government-responds-to-parliamentary-question-asking-what-steps-they-are-taking-to-identify-and-protect-victims-of-human-trafficking-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

https://davidalton.net/2020/05/15/government-replies-to-questions-about-why-their-admission-and-care-of-residents-during-covid-19-incident-in-a-care-home-guidance-does-not-recommend-that-a-resident-should-be-isolated-until-they-have/

 

Government replies to questions about why their Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance, does not recommend that a resident should be isolated until they have had two negative laboratory tests for COVID-19 taken at least 24 hours apart after the resident’s symptoms have resolved; why that guidance does not require the use of eye protection when staff are working within two 2 metres of a resident; and why that guidance does not specify what personal protection equipment should be worn by cleaners in care homes; and the treatment of people with irregular immigration status.

Government replies to questions about why their Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance, does not recommend that a resident should be isolated until they have had two negative laboratory tests for COVID-19 taken at least 24 hours apart after the resident’s symptoms have resolved; why that guidance does not require the use of eye protection when staff are working within two 2 metres of a resident; and why that guidance does not specify what personal protection equipment should be worn by cleaners in care homes; and the treatment of people with irregular immigration status.

 

Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL3492):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why their Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance, published on 2 April, does not recommend that a resident should be isolated until they have had two negative laboratory tests for COVID-19 taken at least 24 hours apart after the resident’s symptoms have resolved; why that guidance does not require the use of eye protection when staff are working within two 2 metres of a resident; and why that guidance does not specify what personal protection equipment should be worn by cleaners in care homes. (HL3492)

 

Tabled on: 28 April 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

The Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance advised a 14-day isolation period over testing, based on the evidence available at the time of publication. The duration was chosen as a pre-cautionary measure and was informed by the recommendation of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group and multiple Government advisory groups.

Care home staff are advised to wear eye protection if a two-metre distance cannot be maintained and there is needed for certain tasks where there is risk of droplets or secretions from the resident’s mouth, nose, lungs or from body fluids reaching the eyes, for example prolonged tasks near residents who are repeatedly coughing or who may be vomiting.

Eye protection is not required when care home workers are not within two metres of someone with a cough. This advice applies to all care home staff, including cleaners.

Care home staff working in communal areas with residents but with no direct contact with residents although potentially within two metres of residents, do not need to wear eye protection.

Date and time of answer: 15 May 2020 at 12:31.

===============================

Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL3915):

Question y Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that people with irregular migration status in the UK are informed about (1) free access to NHS treatment for COVID-19, (2) treatment for COVID-19, and (3) treatment for underlying medical conditions if hospitalised from COVID-19 related complications. (HL3915)

Tabled on: 05 May 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

Regulations came into force on 29 January 2020 to add Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) (now known as COVID-19) to Schedule 1 of the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015. This means there can be no charge made to an overseas visitor for the diagnosis, or, if positive, treatment, of COVID-19. The exemption from charge does not extend to any pre-existing conditions, unless separately exempt under the Regulations.

This message has been disseminated to National Health Service staff, the public and organisations representing vulnerable migrant groups. It has also been published in 40 languages on Public Health England’s Migrant Health Guide.

Date and time of answer: 15 May 2020 at 12:24.

The International Bar Association has joined 12,000 Iranian legal professionals condemning governmental move to dismantle national bar association – the oldest civil society body in the Iranian legal system. Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, says: ‘The rule of law and the independence of the legal profession are vital pillars upholding the protection and promotion of human rights. A threat to the independence of the Iranian Bar Association constitutes a grave threat to not only the rights of lawyers, but the rights of all Iranians’ – and she is right.  

The International Bar Association has joined 12,000 Iranian legal professionals condemning governmental move to dismantle national bar association – the oldest civil society body in the Iranian legal system. Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, says: ‘The rule of law and the independence of the legal profession are vital pillars upholding the protection and promotion of human rights. A threat to the independence of the Iranian Bar Association constitutes a grave threat to not only the rights of lawyers, but the rights of all Iranians’ – and she is right.  

IBA joins 12,000 Iranian legal professionals condemning governmental move to dismantle national bar association
The International Bar Association and the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) have joined 12,000 Iranian lawyers and the international legal community to condemn a draft bill, introduced by Mohammad Mosadegh, Legal Deputy of Judiciary, that threatens to curtail the independence of the Iranian Bar Association by effectively dismantling it.
More than 12,000 of Iran’s legal professionals have jointly signed a letter to Chief Justice Ebrahim Raeesi protesting the threat to the Iranian Bar Association’s independence. In addition, 180 former Iranian judges have signed a letter of protest, in which they call on the Chief Justice to revoke the proposed bill and end the ‘illegal interference’ into the affairs of the Iranian Bar Association.

International Bar Association President, Horacio Bernardes Neto, commented: ‘As the global voice representing international legal practitioners and bar associations, we are deeply concerned by any encroachment of the rights of Iranian lawyers and threats to their independent professional association. We call upon the Iranian government to observe international law and revoke the bill immediately to preserve the Iranian Bar Association’s independence.’ 

The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran intends to replace the freely-elected executive body with government-appointed officials. This poses a great threat to the independence of the legal profession in Iran and serves to reform the national bar association into an arm of government, rather than an independent, self-governing association that protects the rights and interests of Iranian lawyers, and, by extension, citizens.

The draft bill would replace the current Iranian Bar Association with a ‘Supreme Council for the Coordination of Lawyers’ Affairs’, with seven members appointed by the government. Out of the seven members, only two – the Chairman of the Central Bar Association and the Chairman of the National Bar Associations Union – would truly represent the interests of Iranian lawyers.

IBA Executive Director, Mark Ellis, commented: ‘We are alarmed by this proposed bill, for the role it takes in a wider move to restrict the legal profession’s independence and the dangerous precedent it could set. We stand with the judges and lawyers protesting the draft bill, and in deeming such interference a violation of international law.’ 

IBA Bar Issues Commission Chair, Péter Köves, stated: ‘The independence of the legal profession cannot be guaranteed without an independent bar association. The self-governance of the Iranian legal profession and of its bar association is one of the very few safeguards of the protection of citizens’ basic rights, in a country where violations of basic civil and human rights is everyday practice. Therefore, the international legal community shall give robust support to the Iranian legal profession objecting this bill.’

Established in 1915 and achieving full independence in 1953, the Iranian Bar Association is the oldest civil society body in the Iranian legal system. The current draft bill is a move to usurp its independence and is part of an ongoing erosion of the general independence of the Iranian legal profession. In 2007, an IBA delegate travelled to Iran to assess the state of the rule of law and the independence of the legal profession in the country; it was observed that the profession and bar association lacked autonomy. Presently, candidates applying to legal traineeships are greatly restricted in their ability to do so based upon their beliefs and associations. More recently, greater restrictions were implemented as Article 48 of the new Code of Criminal Procedure assigned Iran’s Chief Justice as the sole authority in appointing lawyers to defend suspects in the preliminary stages of trials related to national security.

The year 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers and the IBA Standards for the Independence of the Legal Profession . Both of these instruments guarantee the independence of national bar associations, as part of the fundamental principle of the Independence of the Legal Profession and as a vital pillar of any genuinely democratic society. The UN Basic Principles establishes the rights of lawyers to form and join self-governing professional associations, and their ability to ‘exercise [their] functions without external interference’. The IBA Standards uphold that in each jurisdiction ‘self-governing associations of lawyers’ will be recognised in law and their ‘council or other executive body shall be freely elected by all the members without interference.’ Any kind of governmental interference in the appointment of the executive body of lawyers’ associations, such as those being witnessed in Iran, constitutes a blatant and grave violation of these fundamental principles well-established in international law.

IBAHRI Director, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, commented: ‘The rule of law and the independence of the legal profession are vital pillars upholding the protection and promotion of human rights. A threat to the independence of the Iranian Bar Association constitutes a grave threat to not only the rights of lawyers, but the rights of all Iranians.’ 

Government responds to parliamentary question asking what steps they are taking to identify and protect victims of human trafficking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government responds to parliamentary question asking what steps they are taking to identify and protect victims of human trafficking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Baroness Williams of Trafford, the Home Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL3917):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:


To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to identify and protect victims of human trafficking during the COVID-19 pandemic. (HL3917)

Tabled on: 05 May 2020

Answer:
Baroness Williams of Trafford:

Modern slavery is a harmful and hidden crime and its victims may be especially isolated and hidden from view during the coronavirus outbreak. We recognise that there are greater vulnerabilities for potential victims during COVID-19, as social distancing means there is a risk that they are not identified by First Responders and may find it harder to access support. That is why the Government has taken clear steps to address these risks and ensure that we continue to support some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

To ensure victims continue to feel supported and safe, we announced on 6 April 2020, that all individuals in accommodation provided by the government-funded specialist Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract, will not be required to move on from their accommodation for the next three months.

We have also secured £1.73 million of the funding for charities, announced by the Chancellor last month, to provide emergency support to victims of modern slavery who have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. This funding will assist individuals supported through the Victim Care Contract and will ensure victims are able to stay in government-funded safe accommodation, access financial assistance, access support services remotely, and make sure we manage additional demand on services during this period.

We have also produced guidance for both First Responders and frontline staff with advice on what to do if they encounter a potential victim of modern slavery while ensuring the safety of victims, First Responders and support staff and adhering to Public Health England guidance on social distancing and PPE where possible.

Date and time of answer: 14 May 2020 at 14:00.

Government replies on advice given to care homes about the care of residents and to enquiries about 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) to decentralise such operations from Whitehall.

 

May 14th: Government replies on advice given to care homes about the care of residents and to enquiries about 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) to decentralise such operations from Whitehall. 

Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL3493):

Question from Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the evidence base behind the suggestion, set out in their Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance, published on 2 April, to use disinfectant of 1000ppm chlorine when cleaning care homes; what assessment they have made of whether such disinfectant is sufficient to kill COVID-19 on surfaces; and why that guidance does not include specific guidelines to ensure that laundry is washed in a washing machine with water at 60−90°C with laundry detergent, in accordance with the World Health Organisation guidelines. (HL3493)

Tabled on: 28 April 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

The Department, NHS England, Public Health England (PHE) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) co-published Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance on 2 April 2020, followed by the publication of PHE guidance COVID 19: How to work safely in care homes on 17 April 2020. A copy of PHE’s guidance is attached.

The guidance on disinfection in Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home of 2 April 2020 is consistent with the World Health Organization’s advice on disinfection.

The use of 0.1% sodium hypochlorite, which is the same as 1,000 parts per million chlorine, has been deduced from studies conducted on SARS-CoV and other coronaviruses, including the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s Interim guidance for environmental cleaning in nonhealthcare facilities exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

With reference to washing of laundry, the Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance states that care homes are expected to follow the advice in Health Technical Memorandum 01-04: Decontamination of linen for health and social care (2016). The Memorandum states that enhanced processing should be used when there is the possibility of infectious linen or clothing being generated. The enhanced process should be performed in a machine as for the standard process but using a cycle with a minimum temperature of 60ºC, or the highest temperature suitable for heat-sensitive items.

This is an unprecedented global pandemic and we have taken the right steps at the right time to combat it, guided at all times by the best scientific advice. We are constantly reviewing our guidance in line with policy changes based at all times on the best scientific advice.

The following documents were submitted as part of the answer and are appended to this email:

  1. File name: COVID-19_How_to_work_safely_in_care_homes.pdf
  2. Description: COVID-19_How_to_work_safely_in_care_homes
  3. See: COVID-19_How_to_work_safely_in_care_homes

Date and time of answer: 14 May 2020 at 12:05.

=================

Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL3491):

Question from Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government why their Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance, published on 2 April, does not include guidance for care homes on (1) the provision of infection prevention and control (IPC) focal points to lead and coordinate IPC activities, (2) the provision of clear information to residents in an understandable format and language, (3) the steps staff should take in relation to physical distancing, and (4) what staff should require of residents. (HL3491)

Tabled on: 28 April 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

Since the guidance published on 2 April we have set out a comprehensive action plan, last updated on 16 April, to support the adult social care sector in England throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Our plan sets out the actions the Government is taking to help minimise the spread of infection within all care settings. Local health protection teams have been working hard to support care homes in outbreak management providing help with testing and isolation, and infection control advice. We will continue to work closely with key stakeholders and keep our policies under review as the pandemic goes on.

We will continue to update our guidance based on stakeholder feedback, including changes to text to make content easier to read. The Accessible Information Standard is a requirement for organisations that provide National Health Service care or publicly-funded adult social care. It ensures that people with a disability, impairment or sensory loss are provided with information they can easily read or understand, with support, so they can communicate effectively with services.

We recognise the importance of care home staff, and the vital role they have to play in the United Kingdom’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 17 April Public Health England published guidance COVID19: How to Work Safely in Care Homes. This includes advice on what measures to take in relation to physical distancing in various scenarios. A copy of this guidance is attached.

The following documents were submitted as part of the answer and are appended to this email:

  1. File name: COVID-19_How_to_work_safely_in_care_homes.pdf
    Description: COVID-19_How_to_work_safely_in_care_homesCOVID-19_How_to_work_safely_in_care_homes

Date and time of answer: 14 May 2020 at 12:12.

====================

Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL3494):

 

Question from Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government why their Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance, published on 2 April, does not (1) acknowledge the risk of anxiety, anger and stress on residents, (2) place a duty on care homes to provide practical and emotional support and to work with residents’ families and health care providers, and (3) consider any spiritual or pastoral support residents may request. (HL3494)

Tabled on: 28 April 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

The Department, NHS England, Public Health England and the Care Quality Commission co-published Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home guidance on 2 April 2020. A copy of the guidance is attached.

The guidance sets out infection control and cohorting advice to care homes, which providers should follow to ensure that they have the confidence to receive and support residents. With the needs of residents in mind, it asks care homes to facilitate remote visiting from family, friends and others, via phone, video, and using plastic or glass barriers.

All our guidance is designed with care users in mind, to ensure that individuals are treated with dignity and respect and that their particular needs are addressed. The Adult Social Care Action Plan published on 15 April includes information on supporting people to maintain their independence and responding to individual needs.

Together with the Chief Social Worker, the Department has developed an ethical framework to provide support to ongoing response planning and decision-making to ensure that thorough consideration is given to a core set of ethical values and principles when organising and delivering social care for adults. The framework emphasises that equal concern and respect should be given to all individuals, their families and carers, and communities, as well as the professionals and volunteers that we will be relying on to ensure the delivery of our services and ambitions.

We have not changed relevant duties for regulated providers (including care homes), contained in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014, including the fundamental standards which include provisions about person-centred care (regulation 9) and dignity and respect (regulation 10).

We know that care home residents, particularly those with cognitive and intellectual impairments such as dementia or a learning disability and autistic people, are likely to experience particular difficulties during the pandemic. This could include difficulty understanding and following advice on social distancing, and increased anxiety. Our social care workforce, including new recruits, will need to be trained to respond to these conditions appropriately. We will support providers to embed this in their training in relation to their role, whether they require basic awareness training or more specialist knowledge and skills.

Officials and Ministers are speaking to users of adult social care, and groups that represent them, frequently, to ensure that the Government’s adult social care COVID-19 response reflects their needs. The Government has produced a number of pieces of guidance to support people during the COVID-19 pandemic, including people with dementia and their carers. We are constantly reviewing our guidance in line with the views of users and policy changes, based at all times on the best scientific advice.

The following documents were submitted as part of the answer and are appended to this email:

  1. File name: Admission_and_care_of_residents_during_covid19_incident_in_a_care_home.pdf
    Description: Admission_and_care_of_residents_during_covid19_inc
  2. See: Admission_and_care_of_residents_during_covid19_incident_in_a_care_home

Date and time of answer: 14 May 2020 at 12:11.

==============================

Lord Greenhalgh, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL3675):

Question by 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. (HL3675)

Tabled on: 29 April 2020

Answer:
Lord Greenhalgh:

MHCLG continues to work closely with local authorities to ensure they can respond to the Covid-19 crisis.

It is not for government to review local authority staffing levels and budgets. As democratically elected organisations local authorities are independent from central government. This means that they are responsible for managing their financial budgets and ensuring that they have a capable workforce in order to deliver a quality service to residents. Councils, rather than central government, are best placed to make independent decisions on staffing so that they can deliver within the resources available and with an understanding of what is best value for local taxpayers.

To support local authorities in the fight against coronavirus, government is giving the sector an unprecedented £3.2 billion in additional funding

As part of our efforts to increase testing, the Department for Health and Social Care has contacted each of the Local Resilience Forums to outline how they can work effectively in responding to local demand. Part of this will include coordinating the deployment of Mobile Testing Units (MTUs), which have been designed to clinical requirements by Army engineers and can be easily set up in under 20 minutes.

With regard to contact tracing, we recognise that there needs to be a strong and complementary localised element to the national track and trace model. Developing a truly integrated approach will ensure that the national offer is well linked with local community support for those who may need to self-isolate. That is why my Department is working closely with DHSC and local bodies to understand how we can best do this.

Date and time of answer: 14 May 2020 at 14:49.

Food Supply and Food Security for the UK’s 66 million people during Covid 19 – it should consider the need for seasonal workers, the challenge faced by the unemployed and low income families, and the scandal of food waste – including speech in Parliamentary debate

The House of Lords today debated Food Supply and Food Security for the UK’s 66 million people during Covid 19 – it should consider the need for seasonal workers, the challenge faced by the unemployed and low income families, and the scandal of food waste 

food security

My Lords, I have two minutes and two questions; one on seasonal workers and one on food waste.

To ensure that food is picked and harvests are brought in, can we please look again at the overly rigid, target-focused December 2018 White Paper and remove the 70,000 seasonal workers from net migration figures, creating a separate category?

Will the Government also urgently look again at relaxing work prohibitions on asylum seekers who are resident in the United Kingdom, enabling them to help in this year’s harvesting of crops?

On food waste, it is a scandal of epic proportions that a throwaway culture can trash nearly a third of all food produced, while nearly 800 million people do not have enough food to eat to lead healthy, active lives—that is around one in nine people on this earth.

As my noble friend Lady Boycott eloquently reminded us in her speech introducing this debate, food inequality in the United Kingdom is growing too. Some 30% of food produced globally is currently wasted.

That is an economic and ethical outrage.

Reports from the institute of engineering and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine say that 6% to 10% of greenhouse gases are produced by food waste.

In the course of one recent year, around 100 million tonnes of food was dumped in Europe.

Wasted food would feed the estimated 1 billion people who are without food or hungry today, while another 1 billion could be fed if we curbed overeating and obesity, which was referred to by my noble friend.

It has been calculated that if the world’s food waste mountain was piled up, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, after only the USA and China, accounting for 10% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

Staying close to the land, farming sustainably, tackling waste and changing patterns are long overdue.

That would bring many environmental and health gains.

In Chinese calligraphy, the word “crisis” can also be read as the word “opportunity”.

I hope that the Government will indeed turn this crisis into an opportunity.

==========================================================================

The immediate crisis has thrown into sharp relief the crucial importance of 70,000 seasonal workers – not least in the horticultural sector and where mechanisation is not an option. And beyond the pandemic we will need to finesse our immigration rules to ensure our ability to feed our population of over 66 million people – and to support the agri-food industry, worth £108 billion to the UK annually.  

 

The Government needs to confirm that those changing needs will shape our policies rather than arbitrary and rigid targets and when will we see further details about the expansion of the seasonal agricultural visa pilot scheme – which expires in eight months from now – and make a decision on making it permanent.  It might be helpful to remove seasonal workers from net migration figures and create a separate category.

We need to look again at the December 2018 White Paper on immigration and revamp what it has to say about seasonal workers.

We should relax the work prohibitions on asylum seekers, already in the UK, enabling them to help harvest this year’s crops; that just as the World War Two  land girls were found accommodation near farms, we will work with farmers, agricultural communities and local authorities to do the same.   

Is it really the case that the call for a Land Army – and “Pick for Britain” –  which has targeted the two million furloughed and laid off staff, who were working in restaurants, hotels, bars and pubs – has failed to gain traction because of practical issues such as accommodation and impossible, commuting distance?

The Alliance of Ethical Labour Providers originally received 50,000 applications but only 112 people actually took up roles. What analysis have we made of the reasons for this?

Beyond this, and with 8 million adults experiencing food insecurity since the outset of the lockdown – including 5 million households with children – and 200,000 children having to skip meals – the pandemic has seen volunteers delivering groceries to those in need but especially for low income families, some reliant on food banks, and with a wave of unemployment, social distancing and other Covid challenges will only add to the challenge of accessing healthy foods. An uplift in child benefit would help.

And then there is the question of waste. 30% of food produced globally is currently wasted – having a value of around £20 billion annually.

It costs an average of £500 each year for every UK household.

Reports from the Institute of Engineering and the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene suggest that between 6% and 10% of greenhouse gases are produced by food waste, that around 100 million tonnes of food was dumped in Europe in the course of one recent year and that if wasted food was available to eat, it would feed 1 billion people who are estimated to be without food or hungry today?

 It’s a scandal of epic proportions that a throw away culture can trash nearly a third of all food produced while nearly 800 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life – around one in nine people on earth

starving people 1

A United Nations  report by 107 scientists highlights how, if you tackle food waste – which accounts for up to 10% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions – and simultaneously tackle obesity and overeating by 2 billion of the world’s population –  you positively impact  hunger, famine, global warming, and poor health. Other environmental benefits which come from changing patterns of food consumption, include the degradation of soil and deforestation.

 

The food waste epidemic  is an ethical and economic outrage.

 

It has been calculated that if the world’s food  waste mountain was piled up it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gasses – only after the USA and China. 

A central part of the answer to food insecurity is the old saying “waste not, want not.” 

 

 

food waste 2

May 14 – covid19 Tests for care home residents and employees – “a complete system failure” – Questions in Parliament. Reports suggest that more than twice the official number of deaths in care homes may have occurred – some 22,000 people. England’s social care directors warned two years ago that care homes would be extremely vulnerable in a pandemic.

Questions for written answer House of Lords – Thursday May 14 2020

Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government

Question text

what assessment they have made of reports that care home operators have complained that COVID-19 testing in care homes has been a “complete system failure”; what steps they are taking in response to such reports; what assessment they have made of reports that Public Health England, the Care Quality Commission and the Department of Health and Social Care have stated that each are not responsible for the testing programme and referred care home operators to another of those organisations; and what plans they have to clarify (1) the operation of, and (2) who has responsibility for, the testing programme.

Question text

how many (1) residents, and (2) workers, in care homes have been offered COVID-19 tests; how many have been carried out; and what estimate they have made of the time it will take for all residents and employees in care homes to be offered tests.

Question text

what assessment they have made of the reported complaint made by the chairman of the trustees of the Fairfield Residential Home in Oxford, that COVID-19 testing swabs were not delivered and that symptomatic carers who are self-isolating have to make an 120 mile journey in order to be tested.

Question text

whether (1) Public Health England, (2) the Care Quality Commission, or (3) the Department of Health and Social Care, has had responsibility for carrying out COVID-19 tests in care homes; who is currently responsible for such testing; and what steps they are taking to ensure clarity about such testing for care home operators.
==============================

Meanwhile, reports suggest that more than twice the official number of deaths in care homes may have occurred – some 22,000 people.

Parliament was told that 10,000 “unexplained” deaths occurred in care homes last month. There were 18,000 more deaths in April than the average for that month, but only 8,000 were recorded as coronavirus-related.
Academics at the London School of Economics found that data on deaths in care homes directly attributed to the virus published by the Office for National Statistics significantly underestimated the impact of the pandemic on care home residents and accounted for only about four out of 10 of the excess deaths in care settings recorded in recent weeks.

 

The shocking and increasing death toll  was reported as it emerged that England’s social care directors warned Government – two years ago – that care homes would be extremely vulnerable in a pandemic.

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services said it carried in a series of detailed reports, sent to the Government two years ago, they called for better supply plans for personal protective equipment – warning that “demand for PPE could rapidly outstrip supply” – and said that there needed to be improved infection control and a system to enlist volunteers to help services expected to be stretched to breaking point.

Denial of food aid to Christian and Hindu minorities in Pakistan, reported by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. UK Government Minister says “I share your concerns about religious discrimination and the plight of minorities who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus outbreak.”

Denial of food aid to Christian and Hindu minorities in Pakistan, reported by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. UK Government Minister says “I share your concerns about religious discrimination and the plight of minorities who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus outbreak.”

 

Full Ministerial reply at this link:

akistan Minorities Lord Alton of Liverpool Pakistan Signed Final

Dear David,
Thank you for your email of 15 April about the reported denial of food aid to
Christian and Hindu minorities in Pakistan, as reported by the US Commission on
International Religious Freedom.

I share your concerns about religious discrimination and the plight of minorities who
are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus outbreak. During this period, we
continue to urge the Government of Pakistan to guarantee the fundamental rights of
its citizens, regardless of their belief.

We regularly engage, at senior level in Pakistan, on the mistreatment of religious and
ethnic minorities, including Pakistanis from the Christian, Hindu, Ahmadiyya,
Hazara, and Shia communities. I raised my concerns directly with Pakistan’s Human
Rights Minister in February this year.

I am currently speaking on a weekly basis with Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the
UK, His Excellency Nafees Zakaria, to discuss our approaches to the coronavirus
pandemic, and how the UK can support mitigation of the economic and health
impacts in Pakistan.

DFID recently announced wide-ranging support to help the poorest and most
vulnerable in Pakistan during the pandemic. I discussed this with the High
Commissioner on 21 April. The first in a series of measures, it will provide £2.67m in
funds for vital health support and help communities access the right information to
protect themselves, in 27 districts across all five provinces of Pakistan.

It will also provide £1m for the control of locusts in affected areas of Pakistan, which are having a devastating impact on crops and livelihoods. Over the coming weeks, a wider
package of support to Pakistan will see DFID’s programme of assistance repurposed,
to ensure it helps those most at risk during the crisis.

On 14 and 15 April, the Chancellor pushed G7 and G20 Finance Ministers to adopt an
ambitious Action Plan to support the global economy through the pandemic.
Ministers agreed to this plan, which included a historic debt service relief initiative
for developing countries. I welcome that Pakistan will be able to benefit from this.

Yours sincerely,

LORD (TARIQ) AHMAD OF WIMBLEDON

Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth
Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict