Thursday 10 June 2021 / 2:27 PM Liz Kendall / Social Care

Matt Hancock cannot justify his failure to protect care homes

Over the past year Matt Hancock has repeatedly changed his line on putting a protective ring around care homes. The failure to protect care home residents has been blamed on:

  • A lack of understanding on asymptomatic transmission, despite early SAGE evidence from February finding cases of asymptomatic transmission
  • Care homes being safer than hospitals despite care homes not having access to testing until 15th April, and care homes struggling to access PPE
  • A lack of testing capacity despite 485,000 tests during the period that 25,000 people were discharged from hospitals to care homes
  • Tests results taking 4 days to turn around despite NHS England saying results were being turned around in 24 hours

Liz Kendall MP, Labour’s Shadow Social Care Minister said:

“Matt Hancock was at best disingenuous in his evidence to the select committee today. He selectively used briefings, evidence and clinical advice to defend his record instead of admitting his abject failure to protect care homes in the pandemic.

“Even Matt Hancock knows he now categorically failed to put a protective ring around care homes. He has now used multiple excuses for failing to test those discharged to care and family members who have lost loved ones will be frustrated and deeply upset that they still do not have the truth from the Secretary of State today.

“The Government was much too slow to act to protect residents and staff. As we emerge from this pandemic Ministers must put in place a plan to transform social care and ensure that care homes never again face a crisis of this scale.”