ICG angry over Hancock’s covid in care homes comment

The Independent Care Group says the Government has some serious questions to answer after former health secretary Matt Hancock’s comments on covid in care homes.

Former Health Secretary Hancock said in his diary that the vast majority of infections brought into homes came from the wider community “mainly by staff” and not from people being discharged from hospital without being tested.

He also wrote: “The main takeaway is that the virus is primarily being brought in by staff, not by elderly people who’ve been discharged from hospital. This explains a lot.”

The ICG said the remarks defied belief.

“If this was the thinking at the time, then those in Government have some very serious questions to answer – to those who lost loved ones in care and nursing home and the staff who were fighting tooth and nail to protect their residents,” said ICG Chair Mike Padgham.

“When Covid-19 broke out, the Government’s first reaction was that our homes didn’t need to so anything different.

“They then starved us of proper PPE whilst they concentrated resources on the NHS. During this time people were being discharged from hospital into care and nursing homes – without being tested – and, in my view, bringing covid into those homes.

“To suggest that the loss of life, heartache and serious illness caused by covid was in some way down to the homes and their staff is an outrageous slur on those amazing, hard-working and caring individuals who gave blood,  sweat and tears to keep people safe.

“If we assume that Mr Hancock’s diary entry reflects the thinking of his department at the time then that poses some very serious questions about the Government’s handling of Covid-19 in care settings.

“It certainly makes a nonsense of his public comments about throwing a “protective ring” around care homes during the pandemic.”