Michael Burton 29 July 2020

Government handling of social care during pandemic attacked

MPs have delivered a blistering attack on the Government’s handling of social care during coronavirus.

They called it ‘slow, inconsistent and, at times, negligent’ and described the discharge of elderly patients from hospitals into care homes as an ‘appalling error'.

The MPs on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) also blamed the ‘tragic impact’ of ‘years of inattention, funding cuts and delayed reforms to the sector’ leaving care as the ‘poor relation’ to the NHS during the pandemic.

In their report, the MPs criticised the lack of central direction over social care with responsibility spread across local authorities, Whitehall and providers.

They said the decision to discharge 25,000 patients into care homes in March and early April without testing for the virus was ‘shocking’ and an 'appalling error’ and said the pandemic exposed the ‘tragic impact’ of delaying social care reform.

The PAC has given the Government a deadline of October to outline in writing ‘what it will be doing, organisationally, legislatively and financially, and by when to make sure the needs of social care are given as much weight as those of the NHS in future'.

PAC chair Meg Hiller said: ‘The deaths of people in care homes devastated many, many families.

'They and we don’t have time for promises and slogans, or exercises in blame.

'We weren’t prepared for the first wave.

'Putting all else aside, government must use the narrow window we have now to plan for a second wave.

'Lives depend upon getting our response right.’

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: 'Throughout this unprecedented global pandemic we have been working closely with the sector and public health experts to put in place guidance and support for adult social care.

'Alongside an extra £1.3bn to support the hospital discharge process, we have provided 172 million items of PPE to the social care sector since the start of the pandemic and are testing all residents and staff, including repeat testing for staff and residents in care homes for over 65 or those with dementia.'

Skate parks are not the only fruit image

Skate parks are not the only fruit

On Go Skateboarding Day, Susannah Walker asks councils and their leisure and park departments to think differently about what facilities they provide for teenagers.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Interim Head of Fostering

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Fostering, the local authority was last inspected as “... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers, the local authority... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Head of Regeneration and Economy

City of York Council
£59,593 - £68,094
York is a wonderful place to live and work and it is quite rightly famous across the globe. York, North Yorkshire / Hybrid
Recuriter: City of York Council

Clinical Lead, North Essex

Essex County Council
Clinical Lead, North EssexPermanent, Full TimeUp to £57,869 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director Legal,&Governance/Monitoring Officer

Rochdale BC
£70,340 - £81,589
The Assistant Director role has breadth of responsibility beyond legal services incorporating Constitutional and Democratic Services Rochdale, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Rochdale BC

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.