Government says it will respond to Amnesty International’s Report “As if expendable: the UK Government’s failure to protect older people in care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic” – It’s focus should be on greater protection for the vulnerable in care homes not on putting the general population at risk by blanket lock down measures.
Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL8700):
Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the findings of Amnesty International’s report As if expendable: the UK Government’s failure to protect older people in care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, published on 4 October. (HL8700)
Tabled on: 05 October 2020
Since the start of this pandemic we have been working closely with the sector and public health experts to put in place guidance and support for adult social care. We have taken steps to ensure residents and staff are protected, including testing all residents and staff, providing 208 million items of personal protective equipment, ring-fencing £1.1 billion to prevent infections in care homes and making a further £3.7 billion available to councils to address pressures caused by the pandemic – including in adult social care.
Residents’ individual circumstances must be considered in any decisions, ensuring that their human rights, personal choices, safety and dignity are upheld. Early in the pandemic, we outlined the importance of this through the Adult Social Care Ethical Framework.
We keep our policies under continuous review based on the emerging international and domestic evidence and will consider Amnesty’s report as part of this. On 18 September, we published our Adult Social Care Winter Plan which included several additional measures to support care homes during the pandemic.
Date and time of answer: 15 Oct 2020 at 16:06.