Mark Conrad 27 June 2023

Hancock: Whitehall oversight of care was terrible

Hancock: Whitehall oversight of care was terrible image
Image: Frank 2012 / Shutterstock.com.

Whitehall oversight of adult social care before Covid-19 was ‘terrible’ and officials had no understanding of whether councils could cope, former health secretary Matt Hancock admitted today.

Appearing at the independent UK Covid-19 Inquiry, Mr Hancock acknowledged major problems with the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) oversight of the sector.

Asked whether there was a lack of ‘policy levers enabling the department to ensure pandemic preparedness’ across devolved services, Mr Hancock told the inquiry: ‘It was terrible.’

He accepted that at the start of the pandemic the department had no means of finding out whether care providers had suitable pandemic plans in place or ‘whether local authorities had planned sufficiently’.

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