Crippen: Government was ‘reckless and negligent’ in approach to social care, say MPs

The government has been accused by MPs of a “reckless and negligent” approach to the social care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our friends at the Disability News Service (DNS) have discovered that  a report by the Commons public accounts committee contrasts the government’s early actions to protect the NHS with its delayed, inconsistent and at times negligent actions on social care.

The committee’s report concludes: “This pandemic has shown the tragic impact of delaying much needed social care reform, and instead treating the sector as the NHS’s poor relation.”

A key criticism comes over the decision to discharge 25,000 NHS patients into care homes without first testing them for coronavirus – in the period up to 15 April – which the committee says was an “appalling error”.

As a result, between 9 March and 17 May, around 5,900 care homes, more than a third of care homes across England, reported at least one outbreak of coronavirus.

The report says: “When we challenged the Department and the NHS on such a reckless and negligent policy, the Department told us that when the NHS issued its guidance in March COVID-19 was not widespread.”

DNS writes that the committee’s report also highlights the government’s failure to provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) to the social care sector – while also changing guidance on the use of PPE 40 times – and the failure to test social care staff and volunteers during the first weeks of the crisis.

The committee does not appear to have taken evidence from any disabled people’s organisation or service-user during its inquiry, but the report still highlights three of the 17 ways in which the government breached the rights of disabled people, according to research published by DNS recently.

Description of cartoon for those using screen reading software

An Asian male, a balding white male and a white middle-aged female are seated at a rostrum which has a sign on the front saying that they are the commons public accounts committee. Various documents are scattered around which read social care failures, 25,000 patients sent to care homes without testing, and PPE guide changed 40 times. The three committee members are saying: “Reckless!” and “Appalling errors!” and “negligent!”. A young white male wheelchair user is positioned at their side trying to attract the attention of the white female committee member. He is holding a document that reads 17 breaches of rights of disabled people. In front of them stands Boris Johnson. He is looking towards us (the reader) and is saying: “Do they mean me?!”

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by A6er on 22/09/2020 at 18:11

    Reblogged this on Tory Britain!.


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