Care homes ‘thrown to the wolves’, MPs say. Some of the Questions put to the Government as this tragedy unfolded. And in a further indication of diminished accountability to Parliament, Ministers have produced an unprecedented standard reply to avoid having to give detailed responses to parliamentary questions – including questions which have remained unanswered for weeks on end.

Jul 29, 2020 | Uncategorized

Care homes ‘thrown to the wolves’, MPs say


The Local Government Association LGA) has reported that Ministers have been accused of a “slow, inconsistent, and at times negligent” approach to social care during the coronavirus pandemic, which has exposed years of delayed reforms to the sector.

The cross-party Public Accounts Committee report said the decision to discharge around 25,000 patients from NHS hospitals into care homes without first testing them was “an appalling error” and chair Meg Hillier MP said that care homes “were effectively thrown to the wolves and the virus has ravaged some of them.”

LGA Community Wellbeing Board Vice Chair Cllr Paulette Hamilton said: “Social care has been on the frontline throughout this crisis but this report’s conclusions show that those who use, work and volunteer in these vital services were not given as much priority as the NHS from the outset. We cannot and must not allow any of these mistakes to be repeated again, if the country is to experience a second wave of coronavirus. Social care deserves parity of esteem with the NHS.”

Before the pandemic, the LGA warned adult social care services faced a funding gap of almost £4 billion by 2025.


Sky News Online 

care homes 1

Some of the Questions put to the Government as this tragedy unfolded:

https://www.davidalton.net/2020/07/22/immigration-bill-given-a-second-reading-in-the-house-of-lords-july-22nd-government-challenged-on-trafficking-exploitation-family-visas-child-refugees-data-collection-the-adequate-staffing-of/

https://www.davidalton.net/2020/07/22/government-replies-on-the-disproportionate-effects-of-covid-on-people-with-disabilities-of-negligence-affecting-people-on-care-homes-the-recall-of-faulty-face-masks-and-what-plans-are-in-place-1/

https://www.davidalton.net/2020/07/20/government-responds-to-the-statistics-published-by-the-data-analysis-bureau-that-15-per-cent-of-12407-care-home-workers-from-650-care-homes-across-england-wales-and-scotland-have-been-tested-for-cov/

https://www.davidalton.net/2020/07/10/government-sticks-to-its-line-on-care-homes-and-fails-to-address-the-remarks-of-professor-neil-ferguson-of-imperial-college-that-he-is-shocked-about-how-badly-european-or-countries-around/

https://www.davidalton.net/2020/07/07/the-liverpool-atletico-madrid-football-match-of-march-11th-raised-again-in-parliament-and-by-the-liverpool-echo-the-loss-of-jobs-because-of-covid-19-and-the-impact-on-the-lowest-paid-steps-being-ta/

https://www.davidalton.net/2020/06/22/the-national-care-forum-and-representations-to-the-government-and-further-details-of-the-infection-control-fund/

https://www.davidalton.net/2020/06/18/government-quizzed-further-about-care-homes-transmission-of-covid19-in-prisons-the-effects-of-covid19-on-mounting-unemployment-and-shrinkage-of-uk-gross-domestic-product-putting-7-6-million-jobs-a/

https://www.davidalton.net/2020/06/18/government-replies-on-the-discharge-of-patients-with-covid-19-into-care-homes-the-death-of-the-father-of-dr-cathy-gardner-why-some-residents-of-care-homes-are-being-asked-to-pay-more-than-100-a-week/

https://www.davidalton.net/2020/06/10/government-replies-on-the-reform-of-the-world-health-organisation-and-on-how-many-covid-19-tests-are-currently-taking-place-each-day-an-on-their-estimation-of-the-number-of-daily-tests-that-would-need/

https://www.davidalton.net/2020/06/04/government-confirms-it-has-not-held-discussions-with-the-equality-and-human-rights-commission-about-whether-human-rights-laws-have-been-breached-by-hospitals-that-discharged-older-patients-that-were-p/

https://www.davidalton.net/2020/06/04/written-questions-tabled-in-the-house-of-lords-on-june-4th-2020-deaths-in-care-homes-of-the-elderly-and-deaths-linked-to-learning-disabilities-and-autism-questions-on-hong-kong-and-nigeria/

https://www.davidalton.net/2020/06/01/government-replies-to-question-on-estimates-of-mortality-of-care-home-residents-linked-to-the-covid-19-pandemic-which-found-that-data-on-deaths-in-care-homes-directly-attributed-to-covid-19/

https://www.davidalton.net/2020/05/28/latest-government-replies-to-parliamentary-questions-about-covid-deaths-in-care-homes-about-treatment-of-older-people-about-testing-of-vaccines-about-the-remarks-of-the-national-statistician-that-t/

https://www.davidalton.net/2020/05/22/the-failure-to-test-the-failure-to-provide-ppe-and-the-discharge-of-patients-with-covid-from-hospitals-into-care-homes-has-been-compounded-by-the-failure-to-provide-care-homes-with-the-resour/

https://www.davidalton.net/2020/05/19/further-questions-on-care-homes-raised-in-parliament-may-19th-about-the-report-to-the-government-by-the-association-of-directors-of-adult-social-services-that-1-demand-for-personal-protection-e/

https://www.davidalton.net/2020/05/18/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-ventilatio/

https://www.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/

https://www.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/

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

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

https://www.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/

https://www.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://www.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://www.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://www.davidalton.net/2020/04/21/government-reply-on-ventilators-as-reports-are-published-of-residents-of-care-homes-being-told-they-are-unlikely-to-be-provided-with-such-treatment-doctors-association-uk-say-1095-doctors-have-repor/

https://www.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://www.davidalton.net/2020/06/24/government-minister-responds-to-the-remarks-of-the-president-of-the-association-of-directors-of-social-services-that-the-recently-published-minutes-of-the-scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-ap/

https://www.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://www.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/

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

And in a further indication of diminished accountability to Parliament, Ministers have produced an unprecedented standard reply to avoid having to give detailed responses to parliamentary questions – including questions – like this one – which have remained unanswered for weeks on end.

Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL4897):

Question from Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government (1) what assessment they have made of the number of COVID-19 related deaths in care homes in England and Wales between 10 April and 29 May as documented by the Office of National Statistics; (2) what assessment they have made of the statistics published by the Data Analysis Bureau and Person Centred Software that, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 15 per cent of care home staff have been tested and 62 per cent of care homes have not had any staff receive tests; and (3) what plans they have to review their statement on 15 May that they would ensure the testing of residents and employees at all care homes in England by the beginning of June. (HL4897)

Tabled on: 02 June 2020

Answer:
Lord Bethell:

To provide a more comprehensive response to a number of outstanding Written Questions, this has been answered by an information factsheet Testing – note for House of Lords which is attached, due to the size of the data. A copy has also been placed in the Library

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

  1. File name: Testing – note for House of Lords.pdf
    Description: Testing information factsheet

Date and time of answer: 29 Jul 2020 at 16:25.

Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

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