Liz Kendall responds to Robert Buckland admission that Government prioritised NHS testing over care homes
Liz Kendall MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Social Care, responding to Robert Buckland admitting on Sky News that the Government made a choice to prioritise the NHS for testing over care homes, said:
“This is the clearest admission yet that ministers did not give care homes the protection they needed at the start of this pandemic.
“Social care and the NHS are both equally important in the fight against this virus and are inextricably linked. One cannot be prioritised above the other.
“Ministers must give social care the resources, support and attention it needs to stop the spread of this awful virus.”
Notes to editors
Transcript Sky News Kay Burley @ Breakfast (time stamp 07:07:39):
Kay Burley: So you’re saying, that you focused, in your opinion quite rightly on the National Health Service, at the… to the detriment of care homes?
Robert Buckland: Well look, I think we needed to make a choice about testing and we did decide to focus upon the NHS. I think the issue with care homes is that we’ve got many different providers, many different settings. There have mercifully been many case of care homes that have stayed infection-free but sadly far too many cases of infection and then death. I think every country in the world will look back and say there’s things we could have done differently.
Kay Burley: Okay – but it was Government policy to focus on the National Health Service – I’m not criticising, I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, I’m asking what the policy was – it was to focus on the National Health Service first and foremost?
Robert Buckland: That’s right and I think that was absolutely essential. And I think now is not the time to blame people. I think that would be totally counterproductive.